Man pleads not guilty to following child into public bathroom, filming her with cellphone

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 22:03:00-04

EL CAJON, Calif. - A convicted sex offender pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he followed a 10-year-old girl into a public bathroom and then recorded her with his cellphone.

Robert Becker, 21, is charged with two felony counts of contacting a minor with the intent to commit lewd and lascivious acts.

"Basically, he followed a 10-year-old little girl into the restroom at Walmart. He went into one stall, she went into another, and he placed his cellphone underneath the stall and started recording her and said some crude comments to her and she told him to stop and he ended up fleeing the bathroom eventually before she came out of the stall," said Deputy District Attorney Chantal De Mauregne.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies arrested Becker at his father's house in Alpine Monday. The incident occurred at an El Cajon Walmart store on Aug. 17.

Investigators said surveillance video appears to show Becker following the girl into the restroom. They also said surveillance appears to show him in the same bathroom the day before he followed the girl.

Investigators believe there could be more victims.

The case is frightening to parents, and parent Crystal Alford said she doesn't let her kids out of her sight when they go shopping.

"They are always with me in the women's restroom; they're all 3 boys, I will not let them go into the men's restroom -- ever," said Alford.

It's unclear if the girl's parents were nearby when she went into the bathroom, but investigators said this case highlights the need to never let your guard down.

"You need to try to protect and pay attention, but at the same time, you can't be with them 24 hours a day and those are situations where you're going to have to minimize things like that. At least pay attention while they are going into a restroom, a public restroom, whether it's a store or a park," said Mauregne.

Child safety experts recommend using a family bathroom when possible. They also suggest standing by the door and talking to your child while he or she is using the restroom.

This isn't the first time Becker has been charged with crimes against a child. Last summer, sheriff's deputies in San Bernardino arrested him for posing as a teenage boy and luring a young girl to have sex with him.

Deputies said Becker tricked other young girls into sending him nude photos and videos online. They also said he was caught with more than 600 images of child porn.

Becker remains in custody with his bail set at $500,000.

If convicted of the new charges, he'll spend four years in prison.