Richard Camarena

A Claremont man accused of inappropriately touching a 9- year-old boy in a restroom at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony count of lewd act upon a child.

Richard Matthew Camarena, 45, allegedly groped the boy in a restroom stall July 8 and left the restroom after the boy struggled with him, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The youngster immediately alerted members of his family about what had occurred, and they contacted law enforcement, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Camarena was arrested Saturday at his home, authorities said.

Before his arrest, investigators circulated surveillance images of Camarena, describing him as a person of interest they were trying to identify.

Camarena — who has remained behind bars since he was taken into custody — is due back in a Pomona courtroom Aug 15.

If convicted of the charge, Camarena could face up to eight years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

On Wednesday, a representative for Downtown Disney told KCAL9 that Camarena was employed at one of its retail stores. Downtown Disney is an outdoor shopping center at the Disneyland complex in Anaheim.

The representative, who declined to say at which store Camarena worked, said he had been placed on administrative leave pending the resolution of the investigation.

—City News Service

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