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Man might have fondled more Lehua students


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 07, 2009

There could be more Lehua Elementary School students who may have been fondled by a photographer during school picture-taking, according to statements of two 10-year-old complainants.

Gerard Fernandez Mueden, 31, is charged with two counts of third-degree sex-ual assault involving a boy and a girl at Lehua Elementary on Sept. 22. Police charged Mueden based on written statements from the children and follow-up interviews with them.

The girl told police Mueden pressed his groin on her knee for about a minute until another student showed up for individual photos.

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The boy told police Mueden moved his hand up the boy's leg to his lap and pressed his thumb on the boy's penis.

The boy told police that during recess before the alleged incident, he heard from other students that one of the photographers was a “;perv,”; touching students inappropriately.

The girl told police that on the bus ride home from school after her encounter with Mueden, she heard other students discuss how the photographer inappropriately touched other students.

Mueden works for House of Photography.

When police contacted the owner of the business on Sept. 29, he told them he was aware of the allegations at Lehua. He identified two of his employees who went to the school to take individual photographs of the students. One is Mueden.

Both children identified Mueden as the photographer who touched them, police said.