Ray Stewart (photo provided)

Ray Stewart (photo provided)

MISHAWAKA -- A maintenance worker at a Mishawaka apartment complex has been charged with one count of felony child molesting for allegedly fondling a 6-year-old boy while he was doing repair work for the boy's mother.

Prosecutors allege that on Aug. 11, Ray Stewart, 56, touched the boy's genitals over his clothing twice -- first in Stewart's truck and then in an apartment stairwell.

Stewart was convicted of child molesting in St. Joseph County in 1986 and 1996, according to the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office.

Stewart bonded out of jail Saturday after posting $3,000 bond and is no longer in police custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 30 in St. Joseph Superior Court.

The boy had been watching Stewart fix a faulty toilet and later followed Stewart outside. The boy's mother said she checked on her son every minute while the two were outside, and then suddenly noticed the boy and Stewart were gone, according to court documents.

She searched for 15 or 20 minutes before she found her son walking down an apartment stairwell with Stewart, according to court documents. Stewart allegedly apologized several times.

The boy later told his mother Stewart touched his genitals twice while they were away. Stewart allegedly took the boy to his truck and touched him there, and then touched the boy again while they were in a stairwell going to a different apartment, according to court documents.

The boy said Stewart smiled both times he touched him, according to charging documents.

Staff writer Mary Kate Malone:
mmalone@sbtinfo.com
574-235-6337