SPOKANE, Wash. - According to the Spokane Police Dept. last Thursday just after 6pm, an 11-year-old and her 5-year-old sister were playing in Bumpers Family Fun Center at Northtown Mall while their mom shopped.
Police then say a man approached them and fondled the five-year-old's backside. A few minutes later, the 11-year old witnessed the same man exposing his genitals to the 5-year-old and begin rubbing her backside and upper thighs. The girls ran away to tell their mom.
The victim's older brother located the suspect inside a mall bathroom, but the suspect quickly fled. Mall security and SPD were notified of the incident and immediately began investigating.
SPD Officers obtained surveillance video of the suspect's interactions with the two young girls but were unable to identify the suspect. Detective Jerry Hensley with SPD's Special Victims Unit was assigned the case and through further investigation, determined that 55-year-old Richard M. Payne was the man in the video. Payne is a Level III registered sex offender.
Patrol officers arrested Payne last night for 1st Degree Child Molestation and booked him into the Spokane County Jail.
Child luring and molestation incidents in public places are rare, however the children involved in this incident acted appropriately by running away from the suspect and notifying a trusted adult.