FRANKLIN (Somerset) — A 31-year-old man followed a 4-year-old around a township store and sexually molested the child while the parent was distracted, prosecutors say.

The suspected child predator, David Lutz, of the township's Somerset section, was detained by store employees Thursday afternoon until police arrived.

Prosecutors said numerous people witnessed Lutz touch the child "in a sexual nature, specifically by grabbing the child’s buttocks," the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said Friday.

Lutz was charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 and third-degree child endangerment.

Authorities said Lutz was a stranger to the child and parent.

He was being held Friday at Somerset County Jail awaiting a court hearing.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Lutz had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM