A hybrid police car is seen at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
UPDATED 1:16 PM PT – Friday, September 3, 2021
Los Angeles Police quietly filed charges against a convicted sex offender who claimed to identify as a woman before exposing himself to women and children at a local spa. Back in June, several women complained to a staff at the Wi Spa and said they felt uncomfortable with the nude man being in the women’s area where children were also present.
Citing California law, the staff said they could not do anything about it. Other spa customers tried to defend the suspect’s actions.
“As a woman, I have a right to feel comfortable without a man exposing himself,” one witness expressed. “…That’s traumatizing to see that. I’m a woman. I think this is a place right here, I’m told only for women. How dare you sit up here and tell me I don’t have a right as a woman to defend.”
The story gained national attention and prompted protests, which resulted in at least 40 arrests. Thanks to an exclusive report from conservative journalist Andy Ngo, it became aware the LAPD issued an arrest warrant for the man, Darren Merager, on five felony charges.
In addition, law enforcement officials said the 52-year-old was a tier one registered sex offender and was also faced with sex felony counts of indecent exposure from a separate 2018 incident. In that case, prosecutors claimed he exposed himself to children in a change area at a swimming pool in West Hollywood.
Merager has a long criminal history ranging from burglary to sex offenses including two prior convictions of indecent exposure from 2002 and 2003. Meanwhile, Merager claims to be legally female in California and is now alleging transgender harassment in connection with the Wi Spa incident.