UPDATE, FEB. 9, 8:50 A.M.: Creeper Herath Permarathne entered a guilty plea yesterday to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while both were on a bus. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, three years probation and mandatory sex-offender registration.
But the Orange County district attorney's (OCDA) office may not be done with the 55-year-old transient.
Like the deputies who arrested Premaratnea in October, prosecutors believe he pulled his sick act on others, and they are asking possible victims to come forward.
When it came to confined boxes on wheels, he had plenty of opportunity to prey. Investigators say he rode buses between Orange and Los Angeles counties 10 times per day.
Anyone who knows more about this dude or believes they have been victimized by him is encouraged to call Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at (714) 347-8794.
ORIGINAL UPDATED POST, NOV. 2, 2010, 2 P.M.: Surveillance video shows Herath Premaratnea getting on and off Orange County Transit Authority buses for four hours on Oct. 25, mostly along routes 55 and 47. But it's what else the video shows that led to the 55-year-old Los Angeles resident's arrest on suspicion of sexual battery.
A 16-year-old girl reported to Orange County Sheriff's deputies that she was riding a bus when a man sitting next to her rubbed her leg and tried to unzip her pants. Authorities confirmed the incident happened by looking at video captured by on-board surveillance cameras, which showed the girl reacted to the creeper by turning away and starting to cry, frozen in place. The same video showed the man who touched her getting off the bus behind her that same day.
That led to a review of more security video--and the discovery of a second, unreported incident that same morning involving the same man. This time he snuggled up to a different girl riding the bus to the school and rubbed her leg. She responded by hitting him with her elbow.
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A tip led to the spot where deputies could find their suspect: Premaratnea was arrested getting off a bus at a Costa Mesa stop.
Following newscasts about Premaratnea's arrest in Orange County, a 19-year-old and a minor in Los Angeles County came forward with similar allegations against him. The older teen was victimized on a Long Beach bus in late June, and the minor was targeted in the LA area in October, according to authorities.