Man accused of abusing 13-year-old while working at Express Cuts salon in Richmond

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of indecency with a 13-year-old child while he was working at a Richmond hair salon may have more victims, the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office said.

Sergio Chavarria was arrested on Nov. 9. He's now in the Fort Bend County Jail on $320,000 bond.

Officials held a press conference Thursday morning about the allegations against Chavarria.

According to Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton, the abuse happened at an Express Cuts hair salon over the course of this year. Middleton said it's believed the abuse would occur while the 13-year-old was getting a haircut.

"We believe he (Chavarria) was assisting in the haircutting process," Middleton said, adding prosecutors believe Chavarria has been preying on children in Fort Bend County.

Detectives at the briefing said they could not comment on whether the salon owner knew about the abuse. Authorities also said they could not reveal the exact address of the business, only that it was in Richmond.

Lead prosecutor and assistant district attorney Chris Priesmeyer said Chavarria may have been an employee of Express Cuts for more than a decade, and thus, likely has more victims.

"I want to make it very clear that for any individual, a victim of a case like this, there is provided an alternative name or pseudonym to protect the identity of the individual," Priesmeyer said.

"It highlights the importance of victims and witnesses to provide key information, and our hearts go out to the family of the victim and the victim," said Richmond police chief Jeff Craig.

Still, officials were asked how Chavarria was able to work despite being a registered sex offender.

"Within the state of Texas, the laws under sex offender registration only prohibit from certain places of employment," Priesmeyer explained. "So the way the laws are structured now, it was possible that he was allowed to be able work there, but he was required to notify his registering authority, the Texas Department of Public Safety, of any place that he is employed."

"We believe through the investigation that there might be information he wasn't complying with those as he is facing charges for his failing to comply with registration requirements," Priesmeyer continued.

Middleton stressed that it's never too late for victims to come forward and that potential victims should not be worried about their immigration status.

"If you have a child who has received services at this hair salon, speak with your child and ask if anything bad happened, did anyone touch them improperly? You need to have that conversation with your child," Middleton said.

Chavarria has been charged with indecency with a child by contact, a second-degree felony, and violating his sex offender registration requirements.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Richmond police lead detective Andrew Runge at 281-342-2849.
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