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Man sexually abuses 11-year-old girl while she is alone in hospital waiting room

Armando Tobias Lopez reportedly allausted the girl and confessed his crime to the police when he was interrogated
(Source:Police Department)
(Source:Police Department)

A man who allegedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in a hospital waiting room and was touching himself when he was confronted by police has been arrested. The incident took place on July 28 when Armando Tobias Lopez walked into the family waiting room of University of Utah Hospital. The police allege that Armando fondled with the girl while she was coloring. The girl then pushed him away and told her parents about what had happened. "The victim did report this to her mother, and then the father assisted in locating and stopping the suspect," University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy said with regard to the case. Police said that Armando admitted to molesting the girl. 

Armando Tobias Lopez (Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)

The man appeared to be touching himself as he talked to police about the girl, reported Fox 13. He reportedly told the officers that he "took a blanket out, and that's when all that stuff happened." Police say that Armando was asked what was he doing in the hospital, he told the authorities that he had come to visit his uncle who was also a patient at the hospital. However, when police investigated, the story did not check out. 

“We know he has a criminal history here in the state of Utah. He had some warrants for his arrest in addition to the new charges," Utah Police Chief Dale said. Armando has been charged with one second-degree count of sexual abuse of a child. “There’s bad people out there that want to do bad things,” Dale said.

He further added, “We do everything we can to make it as safe as possible but sometimes with, as large as we are, we have people that slip through the cracks.” A University of Utah Health spokesperson has released a statement with regard to the incident. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our patients, staff, and visitors. We are deeply concerned this incident took place and our executive leaders have been in touch with the family to offer support," read the statement.

"We consider this type of incident to be unacceptable. We constantly review our policies related to hospital guests and visitors and this has prompted us to conduct a focused review of our visitor policy to see if any procedures can be strengthened or improved so this type of event doesn’t happen again," the statement further noted. 

As reported by the National Center for Victims of Crime, studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. These tend to affect them in the long-term as self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident. 

However, child sexual abuse is not restricted to physical contact. It also includes noncontact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography. A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex.