A man touched children at the cinema

Thomas Dean Erickson of Napa is suspected of indecent assault and sexual assault at the Century Northgate Cinema in San Rafael. (Marin County Jail photo)

A Napa man is facing criminal charges after allegedly touching barefoot children at a San Rafael movie theater, authorities said.

A first incident was reported in May during a screening of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” at Century Northgate in Terra Linda. Police advised theater workers to call them immediately if the suspect ever returns.

On October 14, a theater employee recognized the man and notified the police. Officers found Thomas Dean Erickson, 65, sitting behind a child “with a shoe removed and his bare foot exposed,” police Lt. Scott Eberle said.

The child and a parent told police that Erickson “touched the minor inappropriately with his bare foot,” Eberle said.

When officers took Erickson outside, they discovered he had purchased tickets for three showings of the same movie, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.”

Police booked Erickson on suspicion of molesting or molesting a child, a misdemeanor, and followed up with family on the May incident. On Wednesday, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of indecent assault and sexual assault in both incidents.

“We hope these victims and their families get the help they need to get through this horrific event,” Eberle said.

Families of other potential victims can call Detective Justin Dodson at 415-485-3430.

Erickson is due to be arraigned Nov. 1. He declined to comment when reached by phone.


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