Encino: Detectives have released
the names and pictures of three persons already arrested and
charged with the sexual exploitation of a 12-year-old girl who was
lured off the street in the hopes of meeting celebrities. Steven
Fernandez, 15, of Compton, was the prime mover in this conspiracy.
He is a well-known skateboarder on social media, who also markets a
popular clothing brand.
“Yes, it’s unusual that we would release the name and photo of an
arrested minor,” explained Det. Ninette Toosbuy of the West Valley
Detective Division. “But State law provides for such exceptions in
cases where the perpetrator sexually targeted minors.”
The investigation began November 13, 2015, when the victim
explained to detectives 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, which was
driven by Jose Barajas, 22, Fernandez’s manager. Fernandez promised
to introduce the girl to A-list performers and appear in
Fernandez’s non-existent 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 and a fellow professional
“Fernandez and his buddies used his fame and brand to sexually
exploit the very girls who made the men rich and famous,” Det.
Toosbuy added. “We’re taking exceptional measures to find
additional victims because the fate of some young lives may be at
Fernandez and Barajas were arrested November 17 as part of a sting
by detectives who posed as the 12-year-old victim and arranged via
text to meet at an abandoned home for sex. Dadd turned himself in
to detectives with his lawyer on December 3. All three were booked
on charges of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child Under 14.
Barajas’ bail was set at $475,000 and Dadd’s was set at $200,000.
Both men have bailed out. Fernandez, as a minor, was released to
his mother and ordered to wear an ankle tracker, pending his court
“We want parents to look at the names and pictures of the
defendants and ask their daughters if there’s been any contact,”
Det. Toosbuy said. “The suspects tended to cruise West San Fernando
Valley, Hollywood, and Compton, looking for young girls to
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Det. Ninette
Toosbuy, West Valley Detectives, at (818) 374-7718. During
non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to
1-877-LAPD-24-7(877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous
should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters
may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637
(C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages
should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to
LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.