Charges filed against man linked to Garza case

New charges were filed Thursday against the convicted sex offender police are investigating in the disappearance of Brooklyn resident Laura Garza.

Michael Mele, of Middletown, was charged with falsifying business records, public lewdness and harassment. Police say Mele exposed himself and masturbated in front of a female employee at a Nanuet tanning salon. According to police, Mele did this twice in 2008.

Mele has not been charged in Garza's disappearance. She was last seen December 3 leaving a New York City nightclub with Mele. The Garza family has tried to see Mele in jail, but he refuses to see them.

Mele has been behind bars since Garza's disappearance on an unrelated probation violation. He remains in Orange County Jail on $500,000 bail. He is scheduled to be back in Clarkstown Court April 14.

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