A Palm Springs photographer is accused of sexually assaulting two boys in the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Police Department held a news conference this morning, announcing that 34-year-old John Everett Perry, of Palm Springs was arrested last Wednesday at his Palm Springs home on the 400 block of Villagio west of downtown. "He was very approachable, very friendly," said Detective Michelle Gomez, from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Perry was booked on suspicion of committing lewd acts on a child under 16. According to the LAPD, Perry is accused of committing two sexual assaults last Tuesday in the Los Feliz area. The first took place about 7:30 a.m. when Perry allegedly approached a 15-year-old boy and asked if the teen was interested in modeling. When he said yes, Perry allegedly lured the youth into a vehicle, where he sexually assaulted him.
About 45 minutes later, Perry allegedly was seen inside a Starbucks coffeehouse in the 2900 block of Los Feliz Boulevard, where he allegedly approached a second boy and represented himself as a fashion photographer. He allegedly lured the youth to a nearby bathroom and sexually assaulted him.
LAPD detectives from the Northeast Division obtained an arrest warrant for Perry and took him into custody at his home in Palm Springs. LAPD detectives held the news conference to appeal to other possible victims to contact authorities.
An employee at Palm Springs Life Magazine, where Perry is listed as a contributing editor on the website, says Perry is a free-lance photographer for the magazine, but declined to release a formal statement.
The arrest comes as a shock to another valley photographer, Scott Campbell. "I had a gut-wrenching reaction," said Campbell. "I just thought I can't imagine my own kids."
Campbell works with children and teenagers regularly and says this is unfortunately not the first time he's seen a situation like this, including the red flags. "This sense of it needs to be done now, is something to watch out for," said Campbell. "This sense of, I can make you famous or it's too good to be true."
Campbell also offers these warning signs to look for when working with photographers:
-free work or trade for portfolio
-no contract or model release
-no offer to meet parents
-no website or references
Campbell also says the best tip is to trust your instincts. "Go with your gut," said Campbell. "Your gut is almost always right and if it doesn't feel right, don't do it."
Perry was released on $75,000 bail the following day, and is scheduled to appear in court in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 21. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call LAPD detectives at (323) 344-5742, or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS.