HOUSTON -- A Houston woman says the ex-convict arrested for allegedly peeping at a mother and 4-year-old girl in a public restroom is her uncle who abused her as a child.
Over the last 30 years, Lincoln Moreno has been convicted of indecency with a child, sexual abuse of a child and
he's been caught in women's restrooms nearly 20 times, investigators said.
Lovely Monay, a Houston-based singer, said she had to come forward after seeing his photo in the report on 11 News.
Monay said she has never publicly talked about what happened to her.
"I was a little girl, a little small baby with this big huge man on me," she said.
She said Moreno abused her from the time she was five until she was 13.
"And it just became worse and worse and worse, and he would give me money and say model for me," she said.
Now the District Attorney's Office is investigating her allegations.
"It just sickened me and I had to take a stand, I had to do something about it," she said about finally speaking out after 19 years. “He could have been stopped, not only could my family have stopped him, the system could have stopped him, too, but my family failed and the system failed."
Two local lawmakers are looking at introducing new legislation after seeing 11 News’ story about the ex-convict accused of hiding in a women’s restroom stall with an audio-recording device.
According to a southwest Houston woman, who only wished to be identified as “Tracey,” Moreno watched as she and her daughter used the restroom at the Café Express in Meyerland last month.
Police said Moreno was hiding in a stall next to the mother and her daughter and had a briefcase with him.
“He had electrical tape, duct tape, a sock with a pacifier, a plastic bag, a recording device of some sort,” said Tracey.
Moreno is facing a charge of criminal trespass, a crime that he has been convicted of 18 times before.
Criminal trespass carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. He’s not charged with a more serious crime because that would require aggressive action involving touching or exposure.
“There’s an extreme flaw in our system. I think everyone in our community feels there is a flaw in our system and I don’t feel that myself, or someone else, can single-handily change the system because it is a huge flaw," said Tracey. “I would like changes in the system and hopefully, eventually, changes in the legislature.”
After hearing of the circumstances in this case, State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, wants to do just that.
“What I’d like to do is add to the law that exists. A penalty for peeping in a restroom that is greater than criminal trespass and also defines it as a sex crime,” said Coleman.
Coleman said he would like to make the crime a state-jail felony, which would carry a maximum punishment of two years behind bars.
“This is something that has to happen because women and children are preyed on too often,” he said.
The state representative introduced similar legislation a few years ago after an 11 News investigation highlighted the issue of cameras in bathrooms. Since that story aired, there is now a law on the books known as “improper photography.” It’s a state-jail felony.
“And it’s the very same thing, except one is in person and one is by video. It seems to me that the ‘in person’ and the video ought to at least be the same penalty,” said Coleman. “We have to have a penalty that fits the crime and the penalty does not fit the crime if someone has had 18 convictions.”
State Sen. John Whitmire, (D-Houston) also wants to tackle the issue. His office is now working with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to see if a harsher charge can be filed against Moreno, and to determine whether Moreno needs mental help.
Whitmire also plans to look at introducing legislation that fixes what his office calls a unique situation.
Coleman said he plans to introduce a bill in January.