According to the FBI, horrifying videos surfaced showing a group of men sexually assaulting toddlers at a Texas mall.
The Daily Mail reports at least seven men were seen in the child abuse videos watched by the FBI.
Galleria mall worker Arthur Hector Fernandez, 29, was charged with assaulting the toddlers and then posting the videos online.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) January 11, 2024
Daily Mail reports:
Two friends of Fernandez sometimes left their children, two 2-year-olds, in his care while they worked at the mall, according to police.
The FBI says they launched a probe last month after the abuse videos posted on a private online forum were shared by by the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, as reported by the Star-Telegraph.
Each of the four videos shared with authorities reportedly shows a different assault, and they take place in different rooms and locations, including the bathrooms at the mall.
Fernandez is the only suspect charged in the case so far. It is unclear if the others said to appear in the video have been identified by officials.
Police closed in on him by using an open-source image repository to search for the face of one of the children and then matched it with social media images shared by one of the women.
At Least 7 Men involved with Filming and Gang Raping Two Toddlers in Public Bathroom at The Galleria Mall in Texas
Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation contacted the FBI in December and shared 4 videos of the crimes. pic.twitter.com/V2YWvuaoeQ
— Liberty Times & Politics (@dmills3710) January 12, 2024
From the Fort Worth-Star Telegram:
Investigators showed her “sanitized” images taken from the videos, and something caught her eye — a distinctive pair of bracelets worn by Fernandez. A search of Fernandez’s social media turned up pictures of him with those bracelets, investigators said.
The FBI searched his home and seized phones and other electronics, documents read.
He has been charged with sexual exploitation of children.
Investigators did not say if any of the other people seen in the videos have been identified or arrested.