Amazon hired delivery driver who was ‘active child predator’: lawsuit

Amazon kept an “active child predator” on its payroll as a delivery driver years after he was accused of offering a young girl $50 to perform a sex act on her, according to a lawsuit against the e-commerce giant.

A Massachusetts woman and her daughter are suing the Seattle-based company for negligence after the girl was “sexually accosted” by the driver, Heliab Leal De-Melo, in the fall of 2019, it was alleged in court papers filed in federal court in late December.

The alleged incident took place two years after De-Melo was charged with sexually accosting a different minor and offering her money for permission to perform a sexual act on her, according to court papers.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit say Amazon was negligent in not properly vetting De-Melo and that the company should have been aware of the 2017 incident. The Post obtained a copy of the police report from 2017 when Framingham police charged De-Melo.

In the most recent alleged incident, De-Melo, 37, of South Grafton, Mass., approached the girl, who was 11 years old at the time, while she was walking her dog and subjected her to “sexually annoying and accosting conduct,” according to court documents.

Amazon has denied the allegations that the company was “negligent in hiring and retaining” De-Melo and that the e-commerce giant “knew, or should have known, of [his] proclivity for the conduct directed toward minors.”

The lawsuit alleges Amazon was negligent by keeping De-Melo employed even though a local Massachusetts news outlet, WickedLocal.com, reported in 2017 that another young girl claimed that De-Melo offered to pay for permission to perform a sex act on her and that he was given a summons by police.

De-Melo “denied having said anything involved sexual acts for money,” according to the police report cited by the news site. He reportedly told police that the girl was wearing headphones and that he almost hit her with his van because she wasn’t paying attention.


Heliab Leal De-Melo, a Massachusetts resident, has denied allegations that he offered a young girl $50 in exchange for her allowing him to perform a sex act on her.
LinkedIn/Heliab De Melo

However, he was charged with accosting and annoying a person of the opposite sex and offering money to a minor for sexual conduct. He was released on bail after appearing in a Framingham, Mass. court. The Post has sought comment from prosecutors in Massachusetts.

De-Melo continued working as an Amazon driver after the 2017 incident.

The Post has sought comment from Amazon.

In court papers, Amazon states that it is “without knowledge as to the facts alleged” in the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

The company also denies that it “acted negligently in that it failed to identify an active child predator before hiring De-Melo and putting De-Melo into the community.”

While working his delivery route for Amazon, De-Melo approached the then-11-year-old plaintiff while he was driving his van, and she was walking her dog along a street in Franklin, Mass, on the afternoon of Oct. 21, 2019, court papers allege.

De-Melo asked the girl what kind of dog she had and her age. He is then alleged to have asked if “anyone had licked her butthole” and if “her butthole was tight,” court papers state.


Amazon was named in a lawsuit brought by a young Massachusetts girl who alleges she was "sexualy accosted" by De-Melo. Amazon has denied allegations it was negligent in hiring De-Melo.
Amazon was named in a lawsuit brought by a young Massachusetts girl who alleges she was “sexualy accosted” by De-Melo.
Getty Images

De-Melo is then alleged to have commented that he “guess[ed] it was tight,” according to the court filing.

According to the lawsuit, local police investigated the incident and charged De-Melo with “sexually annoying and accosting conduct.” The Post has sought comment from the Franklin Police Department.

When reached by The Post, De-Melo declined comment. De-Melo’s LinkedIn page showed he was currently employed by FedEx but was deleted after he was asked to comment. It is not clear when he stopped working for Amazon.

The lawsuit cites an October 2017 news article from WickedLocal.com, which details an alleged incident involving De-Melo and another minor.

According to the alleged victim, De-Melo approached her on Aug. 7, 2017, while she was walking along a street in Framingham, Mass, the news story states. The girl alleged that De-Melo attempted to solicit

The young girl was “crying hysterically” when she told police what had happened, according to the article.

“She was breathing heavily and could not control her emotions,” the police report is alleged to have stated.

De-Melo was driving a van along Henry Street in Framingham when he allegedly pulled alongside the young girl and asked if she wanted to earn some money, the news story reported.

The girl was reportedly under the impression that De-Melo was sincere about offering her a job.

So when she expressed interest in finding work, De-Melo allegedly responded by offering her $50 to allow him to perform a sex act on the girl, WickedLocal wrote, citing a police report.


De-Melo is alleged to have asked an 11-year-old girl if "anyone had licked her butthole," according to court papers.
De-Melo continued working as an Amazon driver after the 2017 incident.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

When the girl declined and informed De-Melo that she was calling the police, De-Melo allegedly doubled his monetary offer, the news site reported.

The girl then repeated that she was going to call the police.

“As the vehicle was driving away (she) took a picture of the vehicle and license plate,” the police report cited by WickedLocal.com read.

De-Melo was later identified by the girl from a photo array, according to WickedLocal.com. De-Melo was released without bail after he was arraigned in Framingham District Court.

The young girl, who is seeking unspecified damages, states in court papers that she “continues to suffer severe and profound emotional and psychological injuries that continue to pervade her sense of safety and security to this day.”

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