A 30-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he allegedly rubbed an 8-year-old girl’s thigh in front of her mother outside the Glendale Central Library, police said.
Walter James Whaley lll, who police say is a registered sex offender, is charged with a felony count of lewd acts upon a child after he was arrested last week on suspicion of child molestation for allegedly rubbing the girl twice, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.
Officials fear there are more victims and have urged anyone who has had any run-ins with Whaley to contact them.
“We are very concerned with this type of man being on the streets of Glendale,” police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
Whaley approached the girl and her mother about 9:59 a.m. Friday as they were waiting for the library to open in the 200 block of East Harvard Street.
He allegedly said “Hello” to the girl, knelt down and asked why she was wearing a mask on her face.
The girl’s mother responded, saying her daughter was sick and had just returned from a doctor’s visit.
That’s when Whaley allegedly rubbed the girl’s upper thigh, near her buttocks, for 10 to 15 seconds, and incoherently mumbled words, police said. The mother told officers she believed the rubbing was performed in a sexual manner, which witnesses also confirmed, police said.
She quickly pulled her daughter away, prompting Whaley to walk away.
But a minute later, he returned and allegedly rubbed the girl’s upper right shoulder. Again, the girl’s mother pulled her away and called police.
Lorenz said their records show that Whaley had at one point stayed at the winter homeless shelter.
According to police, Whaley told them that he exposed himself to a woman near Berkeley, resulting in a prior sex offense conviction.
In July 2011, the UC Berkeley police department issued a warning about Whaley, who they claimed made inappropriate comments to two young girls about their clothes and gender on campus.
Whaley also has an outstanding warrant for a sex offense in Alameda County, police said.
He was convicted of trespassing and refusing to leave in 2010, battery in 2011 and two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of minor under 14 in November 2012 in Torrance, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
He is scheduled to appear Feb. 25 in Los Angeles Superior Court in Burbank.