Texas man arrested for gang rape of young children at mall

Arthur Héctor Fernández worked at the Galleria Mall. The 29-year-old man was accused of sexual exploitation of minors.

The FBI arrested a man in Houston, Texas, for a filmed gang rape of young children in a shopping mall. Arthur Héctor Fernández worked at a kiosk in the Galleria Mall, and authorities arrested him in mid-December.

The man, 29, was accused of sexual exploitation of minors. Specifically, he was reported for attacking small children and then uploading the videos, in which at least six more men are seen. These people, who have not yet been identified, were also taken into police custody.

As explained by the police in statements reported by the Daily Mail, two of Fernández's friends left him in charge of two 2-year-old children while they worked in the shopping center. He and the other six people sexually assaulted the minors and filmed it. These recordings were discovered by the Australian Center to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) in a private forum that could only be accessed via invitation on the dark web.

Evidence against the Texas man is 'overwhelming' and 'revolting'

That evidence was more than enough for United States District Court Judge Andrew Edison to issue an arrest warrant by which Fernández will remain detained until the trial. Ediso assured in statements collected by The Houston Chronicle that the evidence against him is "overwhelming" and "revolting":

I cannot allow [the] defendant to abuse any other minors, and there are no conditions or combination of conditions [of release] that can alleviate a danger to the community. This is not a close call.

What drew the most attention in this case is that the predator was a friend of the parents. However, FBI agent Torrence White assured ABC13 that this is not as strange as it may seem:

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.