June 15, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

LAPD Seeks Additional Victims in Series of Westside Sexual Assaults by Suspect Who Targeted Women With Social Media and Dating Apps

36-year-old Benjamin Parke Belser remains in custody with bail of $6.2 million in connection to strings of sexual assaults

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations-West Bureau’s Special Assault Section (SAS) are seeking additional victims and witnesses in a series of sexual assaults in the West Los Angeles, Koreatown, and Downtown Los Angeles areas. The suspect, 36-year-old Benjamin Parke Belser, appears to have targeted women using social media and dating applications. 

On February 4, 2023, the LAPD arrested Belser, a resident of South Los Angeles, on suspicion of rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation and sexual penetration with a foreign object for a series of sexual assaults dating back to 2017. On February 7, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed 12 felony counts against Belser, who remains in custody with bail of $6.2 million.

Belser, a North Carolina native, appears to have targeted women using social media and dating applications. Beginning in at least 2017, he began contacting women online and used elaborate ruses to conceal his identity. The sexual assaults continued until at least 2022, when SAS began their investigation against Belser. On February 4, 2023, Detectives served a search warrant on his home in the Village Green community and recovered extensive evidence supporting the investigation and are still searching for additional information that could connect him to unreported crimes.

Belser used various aliases to avoid detection, according to the LAPD.  He is a white male who stands 6-feet-5-inches tall, weighs 170 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Witnesses described him as having a distinctive body odor.

LAPD investigators identified five women whom Belser assaulted but believe there are others who have yet to come forward.

“Cases like this are especially heartbreaking because people are often reluctant to report sex crimes because they’re embarrassed,” said Detective Asia Hodge, SAS’s officer in charge. “But if these many survivors are already speaking out, we think there may be more people who are waiting to speak up. We need their help to hold him accountable. We’re gratified that the District Attorney’s office filed charges, but the work has just begun,” Hodge said. “We believe there are more people out there who need help and we’ll keep working until we find them.”

Detectives are requesting that anyone with information that could lead to the identification of additional victims or witnesses to contact LAPD’s Operations-West Bureau, Special Assault Section, at 213-473-0447. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

in Crime, News
Related Posts

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

Fatal Altercation Outside Santa Monica Pub Leads to Homicide Charge

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Venice Resident Charged in Death of Jameson’s Pub Manager A man has been charged with homicide following a fatal altercation...

Venice Shorts: Hundreds Remember Sarah Alden Thursday Evening at the Canals

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

A tearful and somber crowd assembles to memorialize the slain vintage jewelry collector  By Nick Antonicello  Sarah Alden, who was...

Oakwood Park to Host “Juneteenth and Community Day” This Weekend

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

The Day-Long Celebration Will Feature Free Food, Live Music, Face Painting, a Kids Fun Area and a Taco Truck By...

Former HR Chief of Santa Monica Accuses City of Racial Discrimination

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

She Was Selected in 2018 as the First African American to Hold That Position Within City Leadership, According to the...

Juneteenth Art Exhibition Set for Abbot Kinney Boulevard

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

The Event Features Works by Twelve Prominent Black Artists From Los Angeles An art exhibition titled “FREEDOM” will open at...

Man Pepper Sprayed in Mar Vista During Fight

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Authorities Responded to Venice Boulevard Over the Matter By Zach Armstrong A man was pepper sprayed in a physical altercation...

Hang-Ten Therapeutics-Surf Therapy for Kids: Catching Waves and Finding your Calm

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A different type of therapy is making waves in Los Angeles. Hang-Ten Therapeutics, founded by Naomi Matanick, a licensed pediatric...

Three Taken Into Custody After Assault Incident Closes Portion of Main Street

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A Male Victim Was Transported to a Local Hospital for Treatment By Zach Armstrong Three suspects were taken into custody after...

Man Arrested for Domestic Battery in Venice

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

An Ambulance Was Requested and Arrived to Treat Injuries By Zach Armstrong A man was arrested for domestic battery on...

Venice Canal Attack Suspect Appears in Court

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

He faces a lifetime prison sentence without the possibility of parole By Zach Armstrong The man who allegedly raped and...

Shutters on the Beach Brings Beachside Spring Celebrations 

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

As spring unfurls with super blooms and sunsets after 7pm along the California coast, Shutters on the Beach emerges as the most...

Hotel Casa Del Mar: The Epicenter of Springtime Diversions

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Hotel Casa Del Mar stands as a beacon of vibrant coastal charm on Santa Monica Beach. Perfectly poised, the hotel’s...

New Digital Art Festival to Launch This Month in Santa Monica

June 10, 2024

June 10, 2024

The New Series Will Take Place Across 24 Events at 17 Different Venues The DNA Festival Santa Monica, a new...

Candlelight Vigil to Be Held for Venice Canal Attack Victim

June 10, 2024

June 10, 2024

Candles Will Be Provided for All to Participate in the Tribute By Zach Armstrong A candlelight vigil for Sarah Alden,...