LOS ANGELES, CA — California police are searching for additional victims of a former Millionaire Matchmaker contestant who has been accused of drugging and raping at least three women.
Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department–Van Nuys Division have asked victims who may have been preyed upon by sexual-assault suspect Michael Bernback to come forward, Canyon News reports.
Bernback, 65, was arrested on August 13, 2015, in connection with the alleged rape of two women at his Sherman Oaks home. The charges at that time included sexual penetration by a foreign object, attempted sodomy by use of force, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, rape by use of drugs, rape of an unconscious person, and two counts of administering drug to commit rape.
While he was out on bail, Bernback contacted women on adult websites and allegedly arranged to compensate them financially for sexual favors. But once the women were in his home, according to the LAPD, Bernback would exceed the activities that were initially discussed and force victims into “sexual activities that were injurious to the victims.”
Police reportedly described Bernback’s Sherman Oaks home as a “house of horrors” and a “fortress” that only had one way in and out.
According to People, the LAPD have indicated that they know of at least eight suspected victims. “So far, every one of them has described the same type of [pattern] and it is very distinct,” LAPD Lieutenant Jim Gavin told People. “I would say he is a serial sexual predator.” Van Nuys Sex Detectives said that they have information that indicates that Bernback has been using the same modus operandi since 2013.
Bernback, who appeared on Millionaire Matchmaker in 2011, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial after posting bail.
During the episode of Millionaire Matchmaker Bernback appeared on, host Patti Stanger appeared to be creeped out by Bernback. “And then I go to Michael, and Michael wants to have a baby breeder,” she wrote in a Bravo blog.
“Now when someone comes to me at 58 years old needing a baby breeder — there’s no way. You’re going to get 38 and up — 38 and up that’s my bar. Take it or leave it. He agrees to it, but you can tell he’s pissed off.”
Police have asked victims to contact Van Nuys Detective Division by calling Van Nuys Detective Householder at (818) 374-0010 or (818) 374-0040, or (877) LAPD-24-7 (877) 527-3247 after office hours or on weekends.
Anyone wanting to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to LACrimeStoppers.org.
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Main photo: Michael Bernback [LAPD]