Wi Spa: Trans woman Darren Merager charged with exposing penis in women's section
A warrant was issued in LA County for the arrest of Darren Merager, based on 5 felony counts of indecent exposure in connection with Wi Spa incident
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A woman who goes by the name Cubana Angel complained to staff at the Wi Spa in Los Angeles that a person who identified as female exposed their penis in the women's section. The incident took place in the month of June which was followed by months of violent protests, with media outlets declaring it an example of bias against the transgendered. On Monday, August 30, charges of indecent exposure were discretely filed against a serial sex offender. According to reports, the suspect has been identified as Darren Agee Merager, who a group of women claimed was partially erect in the women’s section of Wi Spa.
Apart from the Wi Spa case, Merager is facing multiple felony charges of indecent exposure over a separate incident in Los Angeles. Merager, however, denied the allegation and said that she is actually the victim of transphobic harassment, reports say. On June 23, a group of women confronted staff at the Wi Spa and claimed that a person exposed male genitalia in the women’s section. A video of the interaction was posted the next day on Instagram by a woman named Cubana Angel.
Cubana Angel at a press conference on July 7 in Pasadena spoke, "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 alleged that some women and girls were uncomfortable. She went on to complain to the 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.
A warrant was issued in Los Angeles County this week for the arrest of Merager, 52 of Riverside, California, based on five felony counts of indecent exposure in connection with the Wi Spa incident. Merager has not been arrested yet, reports say. Talking about the alleged incident, Merager said in an interview, "Everything about the Wi Spa was a bunch of garbage and lies." She claimed that she is legally female in California and was in a jacuzzi in the women’s section when accosted by Cubana Angel. "She never saw me naked. I was underwater with water all the way up to my chest, " she said. Merager also denied being erect or around children at the spa and alleged that she is actually the victim of sexual harassment by transphobic women at the Wi Spa. Both Cubana Angel and her attorney, Marc Little, were not available to comment on the recent development in the case.
Reports reveal that Merager is a tier-one registered sex offender with two prior convictions of indecent exposure incidents in 2002 and 2003 in California. She, however, declined to comment on the prior convictions. In addition to felony charges of indecent exposure at Wi Spa, she Merager is also facing six felony counts of indecent exposure over a locker room incident in December 2018. She was accused of indecent exposure to women and children in a changing area at a swimming pool in West Hollywood Park.
Merager dubbed her open cases involving accusations of indecent exposure as a "pattern of abuse" from the state and society that 'punishes transgender people'. "You allow [trans women] to go in there [women’s spaces] and then people simply claim indecent exposure and you’re arrested, " she said. "If you go into an area where you’re expected to be nude, there has to be an indecent exposure exemption, " she added. Merager also noted that she may file complaints or lawsuits for the discrimination she allegedly suffered at the hands of law enforcement and women in the Wi Spa. She also mentioned that she plans to turn herself in since learning of the warrant by Los Angeles County.