HOUSTON - He went from neighborhood hero to neighborhood zero after he was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.
Now, the local car dealership owner known as "The Finnisher" has been arrested again, facing new charges also involving children.
Out on bond for completely unrelated child sex charges, our cameras were there Friday when Riku Melartin and his assistant were once again brought downtown in handcuffs, this time to face a whole new round of child sex charges.
Houston businessman Melartin had nothing to say Friday morning after being arrested on seven criminal charges, including sexual performance of a child, compelling prostitution, three counts of sexual assault of a child, tampering with evidence and tampering with a witness.
Melartin's assistant George Koutani was also arrested on similar charges the Harris County District Attorney's Office would only describe as linked.
"I fired my 50 onto the ground, as a warning shot, and when this baby goes, you know, you know that I mean business," Melartin told local 2 back in February 2012.
Friday's silence is a far cry from last year when the former Olympian from Finland had plenty to say after being heralded as a hero for stopping a robbery in Bellaire. Back then, the 51-year-old proclaimed himself as The Finnisher.
But after being accused in December of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who worked for him at his John Keating Chevrolet in Crosby, some began calling him another name.
"Rick is a pervert," said the alleged teen victim's mother after a January court date in that case.
Melartin is also accused of paying the girl $500 over the course of three alleged encounters,which happened between August and October of 2012.
Koutani was also charged with indecency with a child stemming from those alleged incidents, which according to the DA's Office are completely unrelated to the new charges handed down on Friday.
Because Melartin was arrested Friday while he was out on bond, the DA's Office says that bond is now likely to be revoked.
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