A Catonsville man faces 13 charges, including fourth-degree sex offense, for allegedly grabbing and kissing employees at a Halloween-themed attraction at TownMall of Westminster.
Mingjin Liu, 55, of the unit block of Winters Lane, was charged with six counts of second-degree assault, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense, two counts of attempted fourth-degree sex offense, and one count each of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and causing an intoxicated public disturbance, online court records show.
Liu was arrested when a warrant was served Tuesday. He was being held in default of $5,000 bond as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, but had a bail review hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, court records show.
According to the statement of charges, Liu laid hands on six employees at Hackney Haunts in the mall Oct. 18. Police arrived at about 9:05 p.m., and some victims and witnesses told Westminster police Liu smelled of alcohol, the statement reads.
“We immediately shut down and called the police,” owner Jason Hackney told the Times on Wednesday. “We had 1,500 people come through [this season], and he was the only problem we had.”
Hackney said Liu did not appear intoxicated when he entered the seasonal attraction.
The victims were students who volunteer at the attraction for service hours, according to Hackney, and their parents were notified of what occurred, he said. There are signs posted at the business stating visitors may not touch the actors, Hackney said, and participants must sign a waiver to enter.
Hackney did not see the alleged assaults occur, but he said his employees told him what happened two to three minutes after Liu left.
Liu grabbed a 15-year-old employee’s breasts, rubbed his hands on her torso, lifted the mask she was wearing and kissed her, the statement reads.
A 14-year-old employee told police that Liu grabbed her face and kissed her on the lips without her consent, according to the statement. She saw Liu get up close to other employees and yell at them, the statement reads.
Another 14-year-old employee said Liu aggressively grabbed her by the waist and pulled her toward him, according to the statement. The victim showed police red marks on her waist, the statement reads.
According to the statement, Liu entered a room that is off-limits to the public and forcefully hugged a 12-year-old employee, who said Liu grabbed her toy knife prop and pulled her close to him.
Liu also accosted a 38-year-old man and his 14-year-old son, the statement reads. Liu grabbed each of them, pulled them to him and began to “hump” them, according to the statement.
Hackney said the man and his son are employees.
The victims identified Liu from photographs produced by police, the statement reads.
TownMall security said they “knew that it was likely Liu,” according to the statement, and told police that they would ban him from the property once charges were filed. TownMall security did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.