A 52-year-old man has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl in the laundry room of a Queens apartment building earlier this week.
Authorities say Mario Lopez, of Brooklyn, entered the building in Jackson Heights shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, assaulted the girls and ran away.
The building superintendent, who did not want his name used out of fear of retribution, told NBC 4 New York the father of the girls called him when the assault happened.
"He was saying somebody pulled her to the laundry and was touching her," he said.
The building's web of security cameras captured Lopez's image as he beckoned the girls over, telling them he needed help with his laundry, prosecutors said.
Once inside the room, Prosecutors say Lopez inappropriately touched both girls and then allegedly offered to buy candy for the 9-year-old victim before fleeing.
Parents in the building, filled with families, were shaken by the news.
"We know the people here, most are from Bangladesh," said neighbor Mona Hossain. "We know each other, and we shouldn't allow other people in from the outside."
"It's so scary," she said.
Lopez is being held in Queens Criminal Court pending arraignment. He is being charging with second-degree burglary (as a sexually motivated felony), luring a child, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
If convicted, Lopez faces up to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.