Authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying more potential victims of a Los Angeles transient who was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl on a public bus in Costa Mesa and has been linked to at least two other similar incidents.
Prosecutors said that police in Long Beach and Los Angeles also have open cases against Herath Permarathne, 55, who on Monday pleaded guilty in Orange County to misdemeanor child annoyance and will have to register as a sex offender.
Permarathne harassed a 16-year-old in October after they boarded a public bus in Costa Mesa together. He tried asking the girl questions but she didn't answer, and then he followed her onto the bus and sat next to her. During the ride, Permarathne grabbed her leg and squeezed her thigh while the girl cried and turned away, prosecutors said.
Permarathne eventually tried to unzip the girl's jeans when she answered a cell phone call and got off the bus. Her boyfriend and father picked her up and called police.