A Mesa man who is a registered sex offender in Hawaii was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault for touching an 8-year-old girl’s buttocks at a Mesa Wal-Mart on Friday, Detective Michael Melendez said.
Larry E. Cox, 48, admitted to police that he touched the girl’s buttocks over her clothing as she was shopping with her mother at the store at 1955 S. Stapley Drive near Baseline Road about 12:30 p.m., according to Melendez.
Another shopper saw Cox inappropriately touch the girl and alerted her mother, police said.
Store security then detained Cox until police arrived, Melendez said.
Investigators also are following up on the incident to determine whether Cox can be facing any other charges in Arizona for failing to register as a sex offender here, Melendez said.
Cox, who had been convicted on sexual-related counts against minors in Hawaii, was released from a Maricopa County Jail, but his bond amount was not immediately known, according to Deputy Lindsey Smith, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.