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SPOKANE A level 3 sex offender is out of jail after being arrested Tuesday. He is accused of molesting a young girl at Spokane s NorthTown Mall.

Authorities said Richard Michael Payne, 55, approached a 5-year-old girl on June 21, in the play area of the mall. He approached her and her 11-year-old sister and fondled the five-year-old s backside. A few minutes later, the eleven year old witnessed him exposing his genitals to the five-year-old and begin rubbing her backside and upper thighs. The girls ran away to tell their mom.

The victim s older brother located the suspect inside a mall bathroom, but the suspect fled before he could contact him. Mall security and SPD were notified of the incident and immediately began investigating.

Detectives seized security video from the mall and confirmed the girl s allegations. Authorities recognized Payne from the video and arrested him.

Court documents say Payne admitted to touching the 5-year-old for his own sexual gratification.

Payne has a lengthy criminal record which includes previous convictions of attempted child molestation. He also spent four years in prison for the charges.

Payne made his first appearance in court on Wednesday for the latest accusation. Payne's bond was set at $250,000. Prosecutors say Payne has three prior felony convictions and if convicted of the latest charge he'll never be released from jail.

Payne posted bail Wednesday afternoon and was released from jail.

KREM 2's Katie Utehs contributed to this story.

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