Arrest made in alleged rape of mentally disabled 18-year-old on L.A. bus

Surveillance video of the alleged suspect in an attack on a mentally disabled teen
CBS Los Angeles
Image from surveillance video of the suspect in the alleged rape of a mentally disabled teen aboard a Los Angeles County bus, Wednesday, Nov. 7., 2012.
CBS Los Angeles

(AP) LOS ANGELES - A man was arrested Friday in the alleged rape of a mentally disabled woman aboard a near-empty Los Angeles County bus during a rush-hour commute.

Authorities believe the suspect, Kerry Trotter, 20, boarded the bus with the 18-year-old woman on Wednesday at a stop in suburban Culver City before she was followed to the back of the vehicle and assaulted.

A witness - the only other passenger on board - tried to alert the driver but was unsuccessful, sheriff's officials said without elaborating.

It was the third rape so far this year on county buses that annually carry millions of people.

"This is an extremely rare occurrence," said Marc Littman, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Trotter was booked for investigation of rape, authorities said. It wasn't immediately known if he had retained an attorney.

Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators said they received an anonymous tip that led to Trotter's arrest after an image of the suspect taken by a surveillance camera on the bus was publicly released.

The attack lasted about 10 minutes before the man stopped and exited the bus, authorities said. After the assault, the woman, who has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, reported it to the driver who notified authorities, sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott said.

Authorities have not yet located the lone person who witnessed the rape. Scott would not say if investigators found DNA evidence.

Bus drivers are trained to call transit dispatchers when they become aware of a possible crime, Littman, the MTA  spokesman said. If a crime is in progress, there is a silent alarm on board that can be tripped, he said.

It was unclear if the driver saw what transpired. He was being interviewed by authorities.

"We want to see if protocol was followed as well," Littman said.