Bounce house employee, 18, took photos of girl, 7, performed lewd acts, police say

An 18-year-old California man was arrested Monday after allegedly taking inappropriate photos and committing lewd acts with a 7-year-old girl at an indoor bounce house, authorities said.

Tavi Benelli, an employee at the Pump It Up Bounce House in Belmont, allegedly escorted the child to a private room before he inappropriately touched and took photos of her, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said.

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Benelli allegedly told the child to turn around and jump up and down as he took photos, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported. He allegedly also told her there was a dead bug on her posterior and brushed it off.

The child’s nanny reported the crime to her parents, who then told the police, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Deputies arrived at the bounce house and interviewed Benelli. Prosecutors allege that the suspect had tried to delete photos of the child from his phone before speaking to police, the Daily Journal reported.

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Benelli pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday to felony charges of committing a lewd act with a child under age 14 and destroying or concealing evidence along with a misdemeanor of molesting or annoying a minor, the Daily Journal reported. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

His bail was set at $350,000. He is next due in court on April 15.