A Monrovia man suspected in a series of sexual assaults over the past five years pleaded not guilty Friday to attacking three women.
Jason Chung Chien Yu, 41, is charged with two counts each of sodomy by use of force, assault to commit rape and false imprisonment, along with one count each of forcible oral copulation, kidnapping to commit rape and criminal threats.
Yu was initially charged with attacks on two women in February 2012 and April 2017, with prosecutors subsequently adding charges involving an April 2016 attack in which he allegedly beat and sodomized a woman.
On June 6, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said at least six females were attacked since 2012, with one allegedly identifying Yu as her assailant.
Authorities believe that Yu lured women into his car by offering them money or drugs in exchange for having sex, took them to a motel and sexually assaulted them, according to the sheriff’s department.
He allegedly frequented areas in the San Gabriel Valley, including El Monte, Monterey Park and Temple City, along with the city of Lynwood, according to the sheriff’s department.
“He targets women on major thoroughfares. He targets women that are addicted to drugs or are drug users and he has proven to be violent. He targets women that are more vulnerable than most,” sheriff’s Lt. Todd Deeds told reporters on June 6. “The number of years that he’s been doing it, for over five years, we believe there are other victims out there, and that’s what we want — people to come forward. We want you to know that Mr. Yu is in custody and we want you to feel safe notifying law enforcement. And we feel that we’ve taken a predator off the street.”
Yu was arrested May 24 at his workplace in Irwindale by detectives from the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, and has remained behind bars since then.
He is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Aug. 17.
If convicted as charged, he could face up to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
–City News Service