Los Angeles police arrested a 15-year-old online skateboarding star and two adults for allegedly sexually exploiting a 12-year-old girl who was reportedly “lured off the street in hopes of meeting celebrities.”
The Los Angeles Police Department took the unusual step of publicizing the name of the young suspect, YouTuber Steven Fernandez, in the hopes of identifying other potential victims, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Fernandez was arrested along with his manager Jose Barajas, 22, in a sting operation on Thursday, according to police. Professional skateboarder Keelan Lamar Dadd, 27, turned himself in Dec. 3, according to the report.
The three allegedly told the victim that she could meet celebrities if she performed sexual acts for the three men, guaranteeing her a role in an “MTV special,” the Times reports.
Fernandez was arrested on suspicion of procuring a child to engage in a lewd act, as well as lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. He was released into his mother’s custody and ordered to wear an ankle monitor, according to the Times.
Fernandez’s attorney, Ryan D’Ambrosio, said Thursday that the 15-year-old was also a victim.
“Steven is just as much of a victim as the other minor involved,” D’Ambrosio said. “We feel that his celebrity status was preyed upon by these adults.”
Investigators are looking for other possible victims and urged parents to ask their daughters whether they had any contact with the suspects, according to the Times.