A teenage skateboarder and YouTube star who goes by the screen name “Baby Scumbag” has been arrested on charges he used his social media fame to sexually exploit a 12-year-old girl.
Steven Fernandez, 15, is a popular skateboarder who has more than 700 thousand followers and more than 34 million views on his YouTube channel. The teen was arrested this month, along with two adult males, after an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Fernandez, his manager, 22-year-old Jose Barajas, and another man, 27-year-old skateboarder Keelan Dadd, are all accused of using Fernandez’s fame to lure at least one underage girl into having sex with them, TMZ first reported.
Fernandez allegedly promised to introduce the girl to celebrities in exchange for sex acts. He also allegedly told the girl she could appear on his fake MTV show, according to police.
Police detailed the allegations against the trio in a statement obtained by People magazine:
[Fernandez] promised to introduce the girl to A-list performers and appear in Fernandez’s nonexistent MTV special in return for her engaging in sexual acts with Fernandez, Barajas, and Keelan Lamar Dadd, 27, the third man charged in the case.
The underage girl first contacted investigators in November, when she detailed how “Fernandez had called her over to a car on Ventura Boulevard and used his celebrity as a skater to make an acquaintance with the minor and get her into the car,” per the police statement.
The car was allegedly being driven by Barajas, however, police are describing the young skater as the “prime mover” in the plot.
Barajas’s bail was set at $475,000, while Dadd’s bail was set at $200,000. Both men are now out of jail. Fernandez, meanwhile, was released to his mother and ordered to wear an ankle monitor.
LAPD Det. Ninette Toosbuy commented on the release of Fernandez’s identity:
Yes, it’s unusual that we would release the name and photo of an arrested minor,” said Toosbuy, who also added, “State law provides for such exceptions in cases where the perpetrator sexually targeted minors.
Fernandez and Barajas were arrested November 17 as part of a sting by detectives who posed as the victim and arranged to meet the pair for sex. The Daily Mail reported Dadd turned himself in on Dec. 3.
The trio are charged with felony committing lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14. Fernandez will be tried as an adult in the case.
Per the statement obtained by People, police are now taking additional measures to find other victims, “because the fate of some young lives may be at stake.”
The LAPD is asking parents in the West San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, and Compton to “look at the names and pictures of the defendants and ask their daughters if there’s been any contact.”
Fernandez was profiled by PBS’s Frontline in 2014: