Man charged after video shows group sexually assaulting toddlers in Galleria restroom, records show

Lileana Pearson Image
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Man accused of sexually assaulting kids in Galleria Mall, records show
Records show that Arthur Fernandez, a kiosk employee at the Galleria Mall, is in federal custody and charged with sexually assaulting toddlers in the public restroom and posting the videos online.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man is in federal custody charged with sexually assaulting toddlers at the Galleria and posting videos online, records show.

The court documents tell of a disgusting pattern of assault. They outline four short videos that were posted online showing the sexual assault of two 2-year-olds, where more than one perpetrator was present.

The documents state Arthur Fernandez III had access to both children in the mall because their mothers, who worked there, would sometimes bring their child when they were unable to get child care. Fernandez worked at a nearby kiosk in the mall and would offer to watch them.

ABC13 was told that during those times, Fernandez would bring the child into a bathroom, reportedly assault them, and take videos. In those videos, upwards of seven people could be heard making vulgar comments and could be seen assaulting the child, though only Fernandez is charged.

Eyewitness News spoke to Torrence White with the FBI on Tuesday. Although White wouldn't comment on the case itself, he warned parents that, unfortunately, the vast majority of predators are someone you already know.

"The perpetrators of these crimes are family members, teachers, and members of the community. Oftentimes folks are looking for the monster in the white van, but often it's the person you know," White said.

The videos they took were posted online, and an Australian group investigating child sex crimes found them, alerting the FBI. The FBI was able to identify one of the children and contact the mother. She was able to identify Fernandez through the jewelry and shoes he was wearing in the videos.

The second child was determined to be related to Fernandez's former boyfriend. That child's mother also identified Fernandez through what he was wearing. The others in the video have not been identified.

The FBI said it takes global teamwork to solve these disturbing cases.

"The more that we do, the more hurt that we stop, the more folks we can identify that's out there trying to harm children," White said.

The FBI raided Fernandez's home, where they confiscated electronic devices and articles of clothing that matched the clothes seen in the videos. Fernandez was arrested in December and is in federal custody.

If you suspect your child or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, you're urged to call 911 immediately. You can also contact 1-800-CALL-FBI to leave a tip with the FBI or visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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