Prosecutors filed multiple counts of indecent exposure this week against a transgender woman whose alleged conduct was at the center of a viral video that sparked a pair of violent protests outside a spa in Westlake this summer, officials said Thursday.
______ Merager was charged Monday with five counts of indecent exposure, relating to an incident inside the Wi Spa on June 23, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles Police Department. The next day, a viral video emerged alleging a customer had exposed their penis in front of people inside the Wi Spa.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment or provide a copy of the criminal complaint against Merager, whom police described as a 52-year-old Riverside County resident.
Attempts to contact Merager were not immediately successful, though she denied all wrongdoing in an interview with the New York Post, which first reported the charges Thursday morning. Merager told the tabloid she is legally female and claimed that those making complaints to police were engaging in transphobic harassment.
An arrest warrant has been issued, but Merager was not in custody as of Thursday afternoon, according to the LAPD.
Police said she has a criminal history. Merager has been a person listed on the sex offense registry since 2006 as a result of convictions for indecent exposure in 2002 and 2003, according to the LAPD.
Indecent exposure can be filed as a felony or misdemeanor under California law, but Merager’s prior conviction led prosecutors to bring felony charges against her this week, according to a person with knowledge of the case who requested anonymity to discuss the matter candidly.
Merager is awaiting trial on seven counts of indecent exposure that were first filed in 2019, according to court records.
After the video alleging someone exposed themselves went viral…