A 42-year-old man is facing felony sex crimes charges for allegedly drugging a female patron at The Abbey Food and Bar in West Hollywood on Feb. 25, sexually assaulting her and attempting to kidnap her. Authorities believe there may be additional victims and are asking them to come forward.
The suspect, Kent Omonicho Okukporo, of Los Angeles, was arrested on Feb. 26 after he returned to The Abbey and was recognized by security guards, who notified sheriff’s deputies. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office charged Okukporo with one count of drugging someone with the intent to commit sexual assault, attempted kidnapping and sexual battery. He pleaded not guilty, posted $150,000 bail and was released on March 1 pending further court proceedings.
Sgt. Belen Lemus, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau, said the victim was at The Abbey with friends on Feb. 25. The suspect allegedly placed a drug in the victim’s drink and when she became disoriented, grabbed her arm and attempted to lead her outside. During that time, a sexual assault allegedly occurred, Lemus said.
The sergeant added that security guards at The Abbey saw the suspect pulling the victim and intervened. The suspect fled, she added. The victim reported the incident to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. Deputies reviewed security camera footage and identified a man – later determined to be Okukporo – as a possible suspect.
The following day, deputies revisited The Abbey and spoke with security guards about the incident, authorities said. Later the same day, security guards recognized the suspect when he returned to The Abbey and called deputies, who arrested Okukporo.
West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Capt. Bill Moulder said The Abbey’s security team deserves credit for helping the victim, and assisting deputies in identifying and arresting the suspect. Sheriff’s deputies and security at the city’s nightclubs work closely to prevent crime and keep patrons safe, he said.
“The West Hollywood community has zero tolerance for sexual assault, zero tolerance for drug spiking of people’s drinks to try to assault them, and zero tolerance for predators. Drink spiking incidents have been reported at locations across the city and are something that we take very seriously, and we will investigate,” Moulder said. “I want to thank The Abbey’s management and security. They are wonderful partners in this. We’re very fortunate to have a relationship with them and many other businesses here in our community.”
Moulder and Lemus declined to provide specifics about the investigation, including whether the suspect had drugs in his possession when he was arrested. They also declined to say whether they believe he returned to The Abbey the following day intending to commit a similar crime. The LASD’s Special Victims Bureau is still investigating, and has not received any further reports regarding Okukporo since the arrest was announced on March 9, authorities said.
“I can say that it seems brazen to come back the next night after what happened the previous night, and that certainly is a concern,” Moulder said. “That’s why we’re here asking the public for their help, or if there’s any victims out there, please come forward and let us know.”
Moulder cautioned people to never leave drinks unattended and to not accept drinks from strangers. He said the city of West Hollywood has a drink spiking test strip program, and test strips are available at bars and nightclubs throughout the city.
“If you’re in any awkward situation, if you see someone else in distress, never hesitate to contact security or call 911,” Moulder said.
Anyone with information or who believes they are a victim is urged to call the LASD Special Victims Bureau at (877)710-5273. To contact investigators with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, call (310)855-8850.
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