Irvine, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2019) – Irvine Police Department Detectives have arrested a sexual assault suspect who was caught trying to flee the country. Gaoyang “Gary” Li, 20, was apprehended at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, February 22. Detectives believe he was attempting to return to China.
The case against Li began on January 29, when a 16-year-old victim reported a sexual assault. The victim reported that on September 9, 2018, she met Li on the Chinese dating app Tan Tan. They had further communication on the WeChat app and agreed to meet. The victim reported that Li forced her to perform oral sex. On January 29, Li again contacted the victim via Tan Tan and demanded money under the threat that he would post a video of the sexual assault on social media and send it to the victim’s friends and family. Li is also suspected in another sexual battery case in Irvine.
On February 6, 2019, Li was located on the UCI campus and arrested. He was subsequently released from custody while further investigative follow-up was conducted. When Detectives learned of his plans to travel out of the country on February 22, they located and arrested him. He is being held at Orange County Jail on $1 million bail.
Irvine Police Detectives believe there may be other victims in this case. Anyone who believes they have been a victim is urged to contact Detective Gavin Hudson at 949-724-7168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Victim identities will be kept confidential. IPD will provide translation services upon request.