California

Police arrest 18 men in gay sex sting in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Staff Reports

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Police in Manhattan Beach, Calif., have arrested 18 men for unlawful sexual activity, the result of several undercover stings involving public beach restrooms.

Los Angeles County lifeguards alerted local police to the activity after noticing men going inside the restrooms and staying for extended periods of time, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“It just started up probably the last week in February,” Manhattan Beach police Officer Stephanie Martin said. “(Lifeguards) started noticing some questionable conduct.”

Men sometimes stayed in the restroom for longer than an hour, and the same people would return. Lifeguards also found graffiti of graphic sexual images on restroom walls, and holes drilled through stall partitions, Martin said.

Lifeguards told police that instead of seeing one pair of feet in a stall, “sometimes they would see two or three.”

Detectives coordinated a series of sting operations using surveillance of the location and information gathered from websites and chat rooms.

The men, aged 21 to 59-years-old, were arrested on a range of charges including soliciting and engaging in lewd conduct in a public place, loitering, utilizing a peephole in a restroom, invasion of privacy and indecent exposure.

Authorities have since removed the doors on the stalls to prevent further sexual activity, said Martin.

Names and photographs of those arrested are here.

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