Sexual predator accused of molesting girl released by police
Officers under investigation for how they handled case
ARCADIA - A convicted sex predator accused of molesting a 12-year old girl last weekend is detained by police and then set free. Even though this offender has a history of violent sex offenses officers failed to arrest him and now the girl's family wants to know why. Four in your Corner investigator Mike Mason getting to the bottom of this one tonight.
This sexual predator wasn't arrested until the police Chief got back into his office on the following Monday and reviewed this report. Now his officers are under investigation for the way they handled this situation.
Records show 45 year old Larry Fleming has been charged with 6 counts of sexual battery dating as far back as 1988. He's a registered sexual predator and the Department of Corrections considers him a high risk, violent offender.
Andrea Bryant: "I feel like he preyed upon these girls and he sat back and he watched them."
Witnesses say Fleming targeted a 12-year old girl this past Saturday. Andrea Bryant says Fleming showed up - uninvited - to a party she was having at her home in Arcadia. We're told two to three hundred people were there but it was all cut short when Bryant's niece told her Fleming touched her inappropriately.
12 year old Girl: "He rubbed me from my back and rubbed me on my butt, towards my butt.”
Mike Mason: "All the way down?"
12 year old Girl: "Mm hmm."
Ardine Primus is the girl's mother. She was outraged when she heard what happened. Soon after, someone at the party realized Fleming was a sexual predator.
Ardine Primus: "He was not invited and if we would have known he was here he would not have been here."
A group of people chased Fleming down the street and attacked him. When police arrived Fleming claimed he bumped into the girl by accident and did nothing wrong. He was taken in for questioning and then released. But when Arcadia police Chief Charles Lee got to his office that Monday, he read the report and immediately had Fleming arrested – he was charged with battery and lewd and lascivious conduct.
Chief Lee didn't want to speak on camera but tells us he launched an internal affairs investigation into how this case was handled. Some feel the officers who failed to arrest Fleming should be held accountable.
Ardine Primus: "We were not notified when they released him we went 2 days thinking he was in custody and he wasn't in custody and he was on probation and probation wasn't notified as well so we feel that our safety was in jeopardy at that time because he could have done anything for 2 days, we didn't know."
Fleming is still in jail since he was denied bond. The police Chief says the State Attorney's office will likely not prosecute since there's a lack of evidence.