In June, a group of women alleged that a man, who they said identified as a female, exposed a semi-erect penis in the women’s changing room at the Wi Spa in Los Angeles. A video of a woman complaining that her young daughter had been present when male genitalia was exposed went viral. 

The incident ignited protests – and counter-protests – at the spa. Antifa showed up and ths usual violence erupted. Many liberal media outlets proclaimed the story was, in fact, a clear example of bias against trasgendered people.

Liberal online magazine Slate even declared it a “transphobic hoax”, casting doubt that the incident even happened. The Independent carried the headline, “LGBTQ advocates suggest alleged trans exposure incident at LA spa was faked”. The Guardian fretted  about ‘misinformation’ and ‘transphobia’, and other outlets wondered if the video was ‘staged’.

It was startling that so few media platforms sought to consider the impact of a policy which allowed transgender people who are biologically male into women’s spaces – especially spaces such as changing rooms where women and girls can feel vulnerable. Instead, they sought to shape public opinion by framing the whole incident as raising concerns about transphobia.

But on Monday 30 August, following an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, charges of indecent exposure were filed against the biological male who exposed himself to women and girls. The suspect turns out to be a registered sex offender.

The Wi Spa story made global news on June 23 after several women confronted staff over claims that a person exposed male genitalia in the women’s section. Video of the interaction was swiftly posted the following day on Instagram by a female user called “Cubana Angel.”

“It’s okay for a man to go into the women’s section, show his penis around the other women, young little girls — underage — in your spa?” she asked the staff. “He’s a man! He is a man!” The three-and-a-half-minute video was reposted across social media and went viral within minutes.

On 7 July, the woman, “Cubana Angel” attended a press conference in Pasadena, Los Angeles, accompanied by her attorney, Marc Little.

She recalled:“As I was walking, I noticed something that was really disturbing, something that caused me to feel that I was transported into the men’s locker room.”

She said some women and girls were uncomfortable and began putting their robes back on. She complained to staff, where the video was recorded, but they legally could not do anything because of California law. “We as women have rights to be safe in public spaces and they are being violated by men,” she said.

In response to backlash, employees of the Wi Spa said that they were simply following State law by letting Merager use the locker room she identified with.

To date, the Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed very few details regarding the Wi Spa incident. The investigation by the LAPD is reportedly “ongoing” according to the New York Post.

While mainstream media coverage of the incident subsided, an astonishing development came on the first week of September, with a warrant being issued in Los Angeles County for the arrest of the suspect. 52-year-old Darren Merrager, of Riverside, California, was accused of five felony counts of indecent exposure in connection with the incident. Reports cite that Merager, who denies the accusations, has yet to be arrested.
Responding to the multiple felony charges, Merager labelled it “transgender harassment.”

“Everything about the Wi Spa was a bunch of garbage and lies,” Merager said in an interview, claiming to be legally female in California.

Sources involved with the case but not authorized to speak publicly say four women and a minor girl came forward to allege that Merager was partially erect in the women’s section of Spa.

Aside from being a suspect in this case, Merager is also facing multiple felony charges of indecent exposure over a separate incident in Los Angeles.

Law-enforcement sources have now revealed that Merager is a tier-one registered sex offender with two previous convictions of indecent exposure arising from incidents in 2002 and 2003 in California. In 2008, Merager was convicted for failing to register as a sex offender.

In a law passed by California Democrats which came into force this year, the state’s lifetime registration requirement for sex offenders was replaced by a tiered system. The law permits lower-tiered sex offenders to petition to have themselves removed from the list. However, Merager is not eligible to do so due to ongoing criminal charges.

The New York Post reports that Merager also has a long criminal history in California including nearly a dozen felony convictions for crimes ranging from sex offenses to burglary and escape.

Separately, Merager also faces six felony counts of indecent exposure related to a separate locker room incident in December 2018. Los Angeles County prosecutors accuse the registered sex offender of indecent exposure to women and children in a changing area at a swimming pool in West Hollywood Park.

The Los Angeles County Sherrif Department sent an internal flyer to law enforcement departments in Southern California in late 2018 in relation to Merager. It reads, “Merager claims to identify as female so he can access women’s locker rooms and showers.”

Merager has pleaded not guilty to all six counts. Merager reportedly told law enforcement she’s transient but bail was set at $150,000 in early 2019, which was paid.

According to Merager, the open cases of indecent exposure reveal a “pattern of abuse” from a state and wider society that wants to punish transgender individuals.“You allow [trans women] to go in there [women’s spaces] and then people simply claim indecent exposure and you’re arrested,” the accused said.

Merager also claimed to be speaking with progressive California lawmakers, such as state senator Scott Wiener, in the hope that they change state law to “better protect” transgender people.

Merager is also considering filing complaints or lawsuits for discrimination, arguing there needs to be an “indecent exposure exception” for trans people “if you go into an area where you’re expected to be nude”.

Several people have filed lawsuits against the LAPD, saying they were targeting people who identify as transgender, as well as activists.


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  • Sharon Dundas
    commented 2021-09-16 20:55:02 +0100
    Niall I sent you a message a few weeks ago and you still havent responded. Do you respond to messages?

    Kind regards

    Sharon Dundas
  • Niall McConnell
    published this page in News 2021-09-10 09:07:07 +0100
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