A mother faced down Richard Payne, the man suspected of molesting her five-year-old daughter in a NorthTown Mall video arcade, in court Wednesday.
Payne, a registered sex offender, allegedly exposed himself before fondling the girl.
Wednesday morning he sat in court and listened to a steady stream of witnesses who think Payne is the man who went to the Bumpers video arcade for the sole purpose of his own sexual gratification.
“I received a call about a male who had exposed himself and touched a juvenile,” Spokane Police Officer Jacob Willard said.
Police were also told there was video of the incident and Bumpers’ manager came into work to search his surveillance system.
“I had been given a description of the two young girls and basically just started reeling through the footage to find where they were and some concrete evidence of what had taken place,” Zachary Servatius of Bumpers video arcade said.
When that surveillance video was shown to sex crimes detectives they almost immediately recognized the man in the recording as registered sex offender Richard Payne. He was arrested after he allegedly admitted to detectives and his girlfriend that he had touched the child in the surveillance video.
On Wednesday, the victim’s mother broke into tears when she saw Payne approach her daughter and still feels guilty about what happened.
“Why? That I wasn't there to protect my baby,” the woman said.
She also told the jury she felt Payne was fondling himself as he headed toward the five-year-old.
“I believed in the beginning, when he was fondling in that area, he was taking himself out of his pants. It was a smaller screen so you couldn't in detail but why else would a man be tucking under his shirt,” she said.
Payne will take the stand in his own defense and deny exposing himself as well as groping the girl.
The jury may have a hard time believing him though because they've already heard from a young woman who Payne sexually molested in 2011.
Long ago the state legislature passed a two strikes law for sex offenders which means if Payne is once again convicted of victimizing pre-teen girls, he'll spend the rest of his life in prison.
Even though he faces a life term if convicted, Payne has been out of custody since his arrest back in June of 2012.