NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, December 17, 2015, 2:29 PM
A 15-year-old skateboarding star with a cult following on social media used his celebrity status to sexually exploit a 12-year-old girl, promising her meet-and-greets with A-listers and a part in a non-existent MTV special, cops said.
Steven Fernandez, the YouTube skateboarder nicknamed “Baby Scumbag,” was arrested for committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, Los Angeles police announced Thursday.
Fernandez’s manager, 22-year-old Jose Barajas, and another professional skater, 27-year-old Keelan Lamar Dadd, were arrested on the same charges.
“Fernandez and his buddies used his fame and brand to sexually exploit the very girls who made them rich and famous,” Ninette Toosbuy of LAPD’s West Valley Detective Division told CBS Los Angeles.
Police said the trio picked up their 12-year-old victim on Nov. 13 while they were driving in Encino, Calif. Barajas was behind the steering wheel.
The sweet-talking Fernandez allegedly promised to introduce the girl to celebrities and offered her a role in an upcoming MTV show — but only if she performed sex acts on him, Dadd and Barajas. The girl agreed, and performed the sex acts, TMZ reported.
After the attack, they kept driving, searching for more victims
“The suspects tended to cruise the West San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, and Compton, looking for young girls to solicit,” Toosbuy told KTLA.
Cops nabbed Fernandez and Barajas during a sting operation four days later. Cops pretended to be the victim and invited the two to an abandoned house for sex, where they were arrested. Dadd turned himself in on Dec. 3.
Barajas and Dadd were released after they posted bail, while Fernandez was released to his mom’s custody. The teen was ordered to wear an ankle tracker.
Fernandez tweeted a vague apology Wednesday.
“I feel like I’m letting so many down,” he wrote. “Please don’t ever give up on me.”
The investigation is ongoing, and police urged any other possible victims to come forward.
“We want parents to look at the names and pictures of the defendants and ask their daughters if there’s been any contact,” Toosbuy said.
Fernandez, who runs a YouTube account with more than 700,000 followers, skyrocketed to Internet fame through his viral skating videos.