The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an attempted sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl at a Stater Bros. supermarket in Whittier on Sunday.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the suspect, 38-year-old Steven Daniel Magdaleno, followed the teen into the store’s restroom, locked the door and attacked her.
The girl screamed for help, which caught the attention of store employees who unlocked the door and grabbed Magdaleno until authorities could arrive on scene, police said.
The victim had abrasions and contusions from fighting off the attack and was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Magdaleno, who has a lengthy criminal record involving charges of sexual assault, robbery and drug use, was booked into the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station. Authorities say he may be homeless and suffering from mental health issues.
Magdaleno was on parole at the time of arrest. He was being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Tuesday afternoon the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that Magdaleno had been formally charged with felony counts for assault to commit rape, false imprisonment by violence and attempted escape from custody. He faces a misdemeanor charge for giving false information to a law enforcement officer.
“It is appalling that someone tried to sexually assault a 16-year-old girl in the middle of the day in a grocery store restroom,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said. “Brazen crimes like these are shocking to the entire community because the girl and her family should have felt safe in that space.”
Magdaleno is due in court on Wednesday for his arraignment.
The Sheriff’s Department said it believes there may be additional victims who have not come forward or been located yet. Detective are asking anyone with information about additional victims to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273. Anonymous tips can be provided at lacrimestoppers.org.