ARNOLD – An Arnold man sexually abused a girl younger than 14 at his home — one time during a game of hide-and-seek, authorities say.
Mark Steven Gaia-Mauer, 60, of the first block of Anthony Court, was charged Thursday in Jefferson County Circuit Court with three felony counts of child molestation.
The abuse dates back to 2014, according to charges filed Thursday. Court records say a social worker received a hotline call that a young girl reported being sexually abused by Gaia-Mauer at his home in January.
The girl told authorities that Gaia-Mauer touched her inappropriately at his home during sleepovers with a friend related to Gaia-Mauer. She said she had had sleepovers with her friend at Gaia-Mauer's home since the third grade.
In January, Gaia-Mauer touched the girl inappropriately during a game of hide-and-seek, charges said. The girl also said he touched her once while they were at the Arnold Recreational Center pool.
Defense lawyer John Schleiffarth said his client maintains his innocence and is "disturbed by the allegations."
The allegations "are unsubstantiated by any of the evidence other than her statements," he said. "I believe if all the evidence is brought to light in a fair manner, he'll be found not guilty."
Bail for Gaia-Mauer was set at $30,000 cash.