Appliance store employee accused of touching juvenile customer

Martin Maule charged with indecency with a child

HOUSTON - A major appliances store's employee has been accused of inappropriately touching an autistic boy inside the store.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said the incident happened in May at a Conn's on the North Freeway.

Court documents show a 15-year-old autistic boy went to the electronics and appliances chain with his family to buy a refrigerator.

While at the store the boy, who sources said has the mental capacity of a 6 year-old, asked his dad's permission to use the restroom.

The boy was using the restroom inside the store when employee Martin Maule walked in, stood beside him, then touched him inappropriately, investigators said.

According to deputies, Maule threatened the boy and told him not to tell anyone.

Records show the victim told detectives he didn't initially tell his family about what happened because he was too scared. But a day later the child told his parents, who in turn called deputies, investigators said.

Sources said detectives tried to interview Maule for three months, but he kept canceling. They said he denied any wrongdoing and denied even being at work that day.

According to court documents, cameras from inside the store allegedly show him going into the restroom just seconds after the boy.

Maule, who is being held on a $31,000 bond, has been officially charged with indecency with a child.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.