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Sex offender arrested in Queens assault on girls

November 16, 2012 3:48:08 AM PST
A 52-year-old convicted sex offender has been charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with two young girls, ages 4 and 9, inside a laundry room at their Queens apartment building.

Authorities said Mario Lopez lured the two girls, who are not related into the laundry room of their Jackson Heights building earlier this week under the pretense that he needed help.

Once inside the room, prosecutors said Lopez sexually abused both young girls. Lopez then allegedly offered to buy candy for the 9-year-old victim before fleeing.

Lopez is charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree burglary (as a sexually-motivated felony), luring a child, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

The case came to light when one of the girls told family members, who notified authorities.

Authorities said Lopez is a Level 3 sex offender. He was just released from prison last January after serving 13 years behind bars for sex abuse and kidnapping.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that any other individuals who believe they may also have been victimized by the defendant should call NYPD Crime Stoppers: 1-800-577-TIPS.

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