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Man charged in sexual assault of 14 girls in Santa Clarita Valley

December 21, 2011

A Santa Clarita Valley man was charged with sexually assaulting 14 girls, one of them 12 years old, authorities said Tuesday night.

Michael Downs, 19, met many of the the girls on Facebook, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Downs claimed he was 16 and allegedly gained the victims' confidence by saying he was friends with other teen girls whom he named. He would persuade the girls to meet him, the department said in a statement.

The girls were between 12 and 16 years old.

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-- Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times

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