Santa Monica College
Santa Monica College

LA County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Monica College Police Department made an arrest on Monday morning following a reported series of sexual assaults of Santa Monica College students that occurred earlier this month.

A suspect, 27-year-old SMC student Christopher Griddine, was arrested in his vehicle on the Santa Monica College campus around 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, according to a press release supplied by the LASD Special Victims Bureau, four days after the college announced it was on the lookout for a suspect thought to be luring female students off campus and assaulting them. 

LASD deputies based out of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station documented two separate sexual assaults between Sept. 18 and Sept. 21, each involving female adult students.

“Both victims were students at Santa Monica College and reported similar experiences wherein they met a male adult suspect on the college campus, whom they believed to be a fellow student,” according to the LASD information. “In each incident, the victims agreed to socialize with the suspect off-campus. While off-campus, the suspect drove the victims to secluded areas within the Malibu Canyon area, where he sexually assaulted them. After assaulting the victims, the suspect drove them back to their homes.”

After his arrest at the college, Griddine was booked at the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station where he remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail. Griddine is set to be arraigned on Sept. 28 at Van Nuys Courthouse. 

LASD data show deputies for the Malibu/Lost Hills Station in Calabasas arrested Griddine earlier this year on March 8 for an unspecified citation; he was held on $35,000 bail before being released the following morning. 

SMC Police declined to comment on the investigation and referred all questions to LASD.

“We strive to be one of the safest colleges in California and … the alleged actions of this arrested individual are not indicative of the behavior or conduct of those in our community,” according to a statement provided by SMC Police. “Santa Monica College is a safe, inclusive and dynamic learning environment that supports academic programs and services intended to serve diverse individuals from local, national and global communities.”

Detectives investigating the alleged string of crimes believe there may be additional victims who have not come forward. LASD and SMC Police reported they were seeking the public’s help to identify additional victims in the ongoing investigation.

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Special Victims Bureau is tasked with investigating the sexual and physical abuse of children and felonious sexual assaults involving adult victims,” according to the LASD information. “Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll free tip line”

LASD Special Victims Bureau can be reached at 877-710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org. Anonymous tips may be directed to Crime Stoppers at 800.222.TIPS (8477), or use your smartphone by downloading the P3 Tips Mobile App or P3 Mobile for the hearing impaired on Google Play or the App Store, or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

emily@smdp.com