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Locals Arrested in MB Bathroom Sting

Men from Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and other cities are arrested by MBPD on suspicion of illegal behavior in or near a public restroom on the beach at Marine Avenue.

Editor's Note [Updated 12:18 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3]: This article is now complete. Thanks for reading breaking news on Patch.

One Manhattan Beach, one Hermosa Beach and one Redondo Beach resident are among 18 men arrested for their alleged conduct in or near a public restroom on the beach at Marine Avenue, according to Stephanie Martin, public information officer for the MB Police Department.

The men have been arrested on suspicion of any of the following charges: solicit/engage in lewd conduct in public place (647(a)PC); loiter in/around public toilet for the purpose of engaging/soliciting lewd/unlawful act (647(d)PC); utilize a peephole in a restroom – invasion of privacy (647(j)PC); resisting arrest (148(a)(1)PC) and indecent exposure (314.1PC).

"We don't want that in our public restrooms," said Martin, adding that children use the public beach restrooms "and we certainly don't want them to see that [sexually graphic grafitti and lewd conduct]."

Lifeguards told MBPD they'd noticed increased pedestrian traffic near the bathrooms, the same people returning, some bathroom visits taking more than an hour and two and three sets of feet in bathroom stalls, she said. 

County bathroom maintenance staff sealed peep holes that had been drilled into the bathroom stall partitions only to find the holes had returned the next day. Martin speculated that part of the draw to the Marine Avenue restrooms was the stall doors and partitions. No other beach bathroom in MB had doors; the county has now removed those doors.

MBPD began their undercover operation in early March after lifeguards notified them of their suspicions. 

They made their first arrest on March 7, with arrests following on March 8, 9, 14, 21 and 23. Each arrested individual was released pending a court date or further investigation, according to a press release.

Jacob A. Dotson, 33, of Manhattan Beach was one of the men arrested, as was Claudio X. Pinto, 48, of Hermosa Beach and Tod R. Rathbun, 46, of Redondo Beach.

The other arrested males live in El Segundo, Santa Monica, Torrance, Gardena, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Lomita, Los Angeles and East Sussex, England, according to police.

The youngest man is 20, the oldest 59.

Said MB Police Chief Eve R. Irvine, "Undercover operations in public restrooms will be periodically conducted; and those who participate in illegal activity will be arrested."

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Joe Salters April 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Gigi--I just read your comment and you have forced me to comment in a place I normally otherwise wouldn't have. Along with being humorous, your comment has fully eclipsed the universe of stupidity; it also makes no sense whatsoever. First, anyone who felt sheltered because of there personal lifestyle. would not have committed a sickening and gut-wrenching act in public. Additionally, the fact that you actually come to the support of these criminal inviduals is absolutely sickening. I sure hope you are really an outlier on this issue because our communbity does not have room for ones that share your same beliefs and support of criminality, pedophilia, and lack of common decency.
Joe Salters April 13, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Just to add, you CANNOT get fired in ANY state because your sexual orientation.
Amy Rose January 03, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Just so you know gay men are NOT looking in the peep holes at children. They are looking at the MEN. Most gay men who do this type of thing actually go out of there way to cover the hole up and look away when a child comes in. Sexual activity even stops when others come in. The sexual acts are to be done when NO ONE ELSE is in the room with consenting people only. No rape. Also to the histerical girl commenting about individual stalls in a unisex rest room, not all men are gonna rape you. Keep a look out when you visit a rest room and don't make your self a victem. Rapists only look for the weak. If your that scared carry a large blunt weapon to beat your attacker with. Just because men are in the room doesn't mean rape will happen. Men don't go around raping other men why would you be any different? The same thing in the mens room taht is happening now will most likely happen in the unisex rooms. Women and Men will meet up for sex. Sad but true. Everyone here needs to get over this fear of "men are having sex in the bath rooms! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!" Yes its not child friendly but why are you letting your children go into STRANGE locations alone without adult supervision? You as a parent must make sure every place your child goes is safe. GO IN BEFORE THEM! They won't see the sexual things happening and if it IS happening move to another location. Simple as that. Take the time to look after your kids instead of having them run wild.
steve cohen January 03, 2013 at 08:58 AM
Amy, You are very off base here. What does this have to do with rape? There is nothing more disgusting then going into a bathroom that is regularly used for sex. You should be ashamed of yourself. If gay men want to have sex they should go home and do it there. Why is it so necessary to use public bathrooms for this? Its disgusting and you should know better.
Matthew Smith November 01, 2013 at 01:15 PM
With the lawsuit from one of the men who was FALSELY arrested, this sting could cost the city up to 5 million dollars, plus legal fees. I wonder if any of the 17 other people arrested were done so wrongly.

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