A 19-year-old man was arrested Friday on charges of indecent conduct and visual sexual aggression against a child.

Simeon Welch was charged for allegedly masturbating in the front of a sport utility vehicle while a 4-year-old boy was in the back seat, according to an affidavit filed in Kennebec County Superior Court by Detective David Bucknam, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Bucknam was initially contacted by a State Fire Marshal’s Office investigator after an SUV driven by Welch caught fire in a gravel pit in West Gardiner on the evening of May 15. He was accompanied by a 4-year-old boy, and the fire investigator contacted Bucknam to investigate.

According to Bucknam’s affidavit, the boy spoke to a forensic interviewer and described Welch “showing his private parts as well as touching it. When asked where this happened, (the boy) stated it happened in the ‘blazer.'” The affidavit indicated the Blazer was the vehicle that burned in the gravel pit.

Welch told Bucknam he had never touched the boy nor had the boy ever touched him. However, according to Bucknam’s affidavit, Welch said he had masturbated while sitting in his vehicle with the boy in the back seat.

Welch “advised (the boy) might have seen him masturbating for a couple of minutes,” the affidavit states. “Simeon stated he was parked at the waterfront in the (city) of Gardiner looking at naked pictures of his girlfriend when he masturbated. He stated he has never done anything like that while in the gravel pit.”

Welch, whose residence was not listed, was charged with visual sexual aggression against a child, indecent conduct and violating conditions of release.

Bail was set at $5,000. He was still at the Kennebec County jail Monday afternoon, according to a jail official.