Closer look at 'The Finnisher' in child sex assault case - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Closer look at 'The Finnisher' in child sex assault case

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FOX 26 has talked with the mom of a 16-year-old girl who, police say, was sexually assaulted by a man who dubbed himself "The Finnisher".

Riku Melartin, 51, took on that hero persona on TV ads for his Crosby-based car dealership John Keating Chevrolet.  Prosecutors say Melartin and another employee fondled and sexually assaulted that 16-year-old girl in 2012.

"For him, as a friend, to do something like that, I was really angry and shocked," the mom said.

She said not only did her family have a business relationship with Melartin, but a personal one as well.

"We went to dinner frequently," she said.  "He even practiced playing soccer with one of my daughters.  I had no idea he would target my child.  I had no idea he was interested in children.  He made mention that he prefers Black women.  My child is not a woman.  She's Black, but she's not a woman."

We had a chance to take a closer look at the Finland native who fancies himself a hero in TV commercials.  Melartin was once on the Finnish Olympic team.  He was also a surgeon and the owner of a:

-- Car dealership
-- Furniture store
-- Pharmacy
-- Restaurant
-- Ranch
-- Consulting firm

And let's not forget the two Babes adult nightclub locations in Texas.

Harris County attorney Melissa Spinks sued Melartin, claiming Babes was a public nuisance.

"Probably one of the most disgusting places that I have ever seen in my time working here at the county attorney's office," Spinks said.

She said Melartin shut Babes down after intense scrutiny by the Harris County Attorney's Office.  The Bellaire businessman was also charged with operating a sexually-oriented business without a permit.

Even after seeing the action in Babes, Spinks said she was still surprised by the allegations of child sexual assault.

"I actually can't believe he has the gall to say that when in his very own bar, there are, what I consider, damsels in distress, 18-year-old girls on a pole, committing sex acts for men all for money," she said.

In the meantime, 16-year-old girl's family is picking up the pieces.

The mom, who had a contract to clean Melartin's dealership, quit.  Her 16-year-old daughter quit her receptionist job at the dealership.  Her stepfather was a finance director before being fired by Melartin.

"It's taken a toll on us emotionally.  My daughter is in therapy and it just has me rethinking if I should stay here in Houston," the mom said.

Melartin was released on bond, but he was ordered to turn over his passport must wear a GPS tracker.

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