A 19-year-old man who allegedly attacked a woman last week in Bellflower and a teenage girl in a restroom at Lakewood High School about 2 1/2 hours later was charged Wednesday with seven felony counts.
Joshua Cooper pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, two counts of assault with intent to commit rape on a victim under 18 and one count each of assault with intent to commit rape and dissuading a witness by force or threat.
Cooper allegedly approached a 29-year-old woman from behind and attacked her as she walked in the 9200 block of Palm Street iabout 10 a.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
About 2 1/2 hours later, Cooper allegedly assaulted a girl using a restroom at Lakewood High School. The suspect fled when a school employee entered the restroom, according to the sheriff’s department.
A sheriff’s deputy viewed surveillance footage recorded near one of the crimes, leading to Cooper’s identification as the alleged attacker, according to Capt. Rick Harpham of the sheriff’s Lakewood station.
Cooper was arrested Saturday afternoon by sheriff’s deputies, and has remained behind bars since then.
He is due back in court Sept. 19, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial.
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