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Cops: Children ate birthday cupcakes tainted by supermarket sicko...


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DOCUMENT: Revolting, Crime

Police affidavit details Colorado man’s vile videotaped activities

APRIL 2--When police searched the home of a Colorado supermarket worker suspected in a series of 20 indecent exposure incidents, they discovered shocking videos showing the man--a registered sex offender--contaminating assorted food products with a bodily fluid, including a special order of cupcakes later consumed by children attending a birthday party, records show.

The probe of Stephen Masalta, 32, is detailed in a court affidavit prepared prior to his arrest last month on dozens of felony and misdemeanor charges. Masalta is locked up in lieu of $250,000 cash bond.

The case against Masalta stemmed from a police investigation into a five-month-long string of lewd episodes outside different coffee shops in Loveland and Fort Collins. A male suspect--wearing a face mask or gaiter--would appear in the predawn hours outside a shop and begin masturbating in view of workers inside. At times, the suspect was seen recording as he exposed himself.

Surveillance video from some of the crime scenes captured a silver sedan in the area at the time of the incidents. A detective concluded that, “the vehicle was a 2015 to 2017 Hyundai Sonata.” A subsequent search of law enforcement and sex offender databases revealed that a 2016 Hyundai Sonata with California plates “was associated with Stephen William Masalta,” who resided in Fort Collins, a city about 50 miles outside Denver.

Masalta, cops discovered, was “a sexual offender for installing hidden cameras” in the women’s bathroom of the New Life Community Church in Woodland, a Sacramento suburb. California police who arrested Masalta in 2015 alleged that he placed a phone inside a tissue box atop a toilet, and that the device--over a period of several months--surreptitiously recorded 14 women and six underage girls.

Masalta admitted to a Woodland Police Department detective, the Colorado affidavit states, that he “masturbated to the videos he made, including while he was still inside the church.”

After placing an electronic tracker on Masalta’s car--which showed him parking near Starbucks locations in Denver and Lakewood’s Hello Coffee--cops executed a search warrant at Masalta’s home on February 20 and seized three phones, two laptops, an iPad, and four flash drives. They also found a journal with Masalta’s name on it “where he discussed his sexual immorality, sex addiction, and deviant impulses.”

Masalta is pictured in the mugshot at left.

A search of Masalta’s car the following day yielded two more phones, plus printed images of women, some unclothed, “from angles where it appears the women may not know they are being photographed.” Some of the photos contained handwritten notes “about the women’s physical appearance and how the writer wants to have sexual contact” with them. “Ejaculating penises were drawn on some of the images.”

Additionally, Colorado cops noted, stains on the driver and passenger seats “fluoresced under an alternative light source,” indicating the presence of bodily fluids.

An examination of Masalta’s phones revealed a variety of vile videos. One clip, shot on January 4, showed “someone (presumably Masalta) masturbating and touching his penis to donuts in what appears to be a grocery store.” At the time of the recording, Masalta worked as a “night stocker” at a Safeway supermarket in Fort Collins. He was previously employed by Starbucks and 24 Hour Fitness.

The phones, cops allege, also contained evidence “pertaining to Masalta’s crimes at local coffee shops” and videos showing a man “masturbating and rubbing his genitals on food items at a grocery store.” Products that “came into contact with Masalta’s seminal fluid and penis include strawberries in a plastic sale container, donuts, cupcakes, and a large bucket of commercial pastry frosting.”

A Safeway manager who was shown screenshots told police that he believed the videos were recorded in the store’s bakery (seen below) and freezer areas.

“In one of the videos,” police reported, “Masalta touches his penis to and masturbates on a batch of 12 cupcakes.” The baked goods were a special order placed with the Safeway bakery by a female customer who requested extra sprinkles on the cupcakes. On an order label affixed to the cupcake container, a store employee had written, “Add Super Mario toys if we have.”

The woman had ordered a total of 24 cupcakes, “and Masalta’s video shows him contaminating one box of 12,” investigators noted. The cupcakes were consumed at a January 28 birthday party for the woman’s son, which was attended by 16 children and several adults.

Among the charges filed against Masalta are 16 counts of attempted sexual assault on a child, a felony. “The cupcake special order label requesting sprinkles and Super Mario toys be included show the order was likely intended for children,” Officer RJ Tuttle stated.

Multiple detectives “worked to contact the families of children who ate the cupcakes.”

Since one of Masalta’s videos showed a sexual encounter in a car with a naked woman and his internet history included January 2024 searches for “prostitution denver co” and “worst place for prostitution denver co,” police contended that he “may be at increased risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases.”

Next scheduled for a May 10 court appearance, Masalta could face additional charges, according to investigators (7 pages)

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