Felon Arrested for Allegedly Sexually Assaulting Boy at Riverside Library

A probationer suspected of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy in a Riverside public library bathroom was being held Monday in lieu of $1 million bail.

Juan Francisco Palacios, 29, was arrested Sunday and booked into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside on suspicion of lewd acts on a child and possession of child pornography, said Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.

The alleged assault happened last Wednesday at the Duran Eastside Library in the 4000 block of Chicago Avenue. The youngster, who was at the library with his father, headed into the bathroom alone just after 5 p.m., Railsback said.

Security surveillance video cameras recorded what transpired outside the restroom, capturing Palacios loitering nearby and allegedly ducking into the lavatory seconds after the child went inside, according to Railsback.

He alleged that the convicted felon cornered the boy and committed unspecified acts, then quickly exited the bathroom and the library, walking in the direction of a shopping center on University Avenue.

The child told his father what had occurred, and the man called police, Railsback said.

Relying on the videotape, detectives from the police department's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Unit ultimately identified Palacios as the alleged perpetrator and began searching for the transient.

About 3:30 p.m. Sunday, staff at the Riverside Main Public Library on Mission Inn Avenue spotted the probationer hanging around, recognized him as the alleged assailant described in law enforcement notices and called police.

He was taken into custody without a struggle a short time later, according to Railsback.

Court records show that the suspect has a prior conviction for possession of child porn.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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