Man arrested after showing porn to child at supermarket, authorities say

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

JACINTO CITY, Texas - A registered sex offender accused of showing pornographic images on his phone to a A 9-year-old girl at a supermarket is behind bars.

Jacinto City Police said after KPRC Channel 2 News aired the surveillance video, someone was able to positively identify 50-year-old Juan Carolo Apodaca.

"The person that called in said he recognized him and he recognized the uniform that he was wearing," said Sgt. Betty Silva with the Jacinto Police Department. "As soon as we identified that he has been doing this for a while, then the rest was just was for me to do my detective work."

Silva said they went to Apodaca's Galena Park home and brought him in for questioning on Wednesday. They later charged him with displaying harmful materials to a child.

Police believe he's connected to a similar incident at the same store on March 16, 2016.

"We looked at it and I said this is the same guy we've been looking for since last year," said Silva.  "I brought up my video of him from last year and the officers right here was like, 'that's him. That is him.'"

The 9-year-old was shopping with her mother Monday afternoon at the Seller Bros. supermarket when she was approached by a man who stuck his cellphone in her face, while it was playing pornography.

The girl, Mareline, is still shaken by the strange and disturbing incident.

"She told him, ‘Leave me alone. I don't want to talk to you,’” said Joel Sibrian, a friend of the victim’s family. “And he just kept talking to her and she started screaming.”

Apodaca is accused of insisting Mareline watch a pornographic video that was playing on his cellphone screen.

Mareline said that in the video, she saw two women kissing -- and that she didn’t want to see that. She ran away and the man chased after her, the child said.

When Mareline asked, “Why are you chasing me?” The man said, “None of your business,” the girl said through a translator.

"This is hard pornography,” said Detective Sgt. Betty Silva, of the Jacinto Police Department. “They're in the act of having sex.”

Court records show Apodaca was arrested and found guilty of indecency with a child sexual contact in Passadena in 2012.

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