A man convicted of a child sex offense in California was arrested after he was seen fondling himself while watching young girls at the family pool of the Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA on Wednesday night, authorities said.
Wichita police Capt. Doug Nolte said a 39-year-old man “was seen exposing” himself and “doing inappropriate things in front of children” between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at 402 N. Market. A police report indicates the man was watching two girls, ages 8 and 9, who were in the pool.
Nolte told reporters Thursday morning that the 39-year-old should have been registered as a sex offender locally but was not and that “according to records officers had at the time available to them, they could not locate that he was registered.” The man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender and lewd and lascivious conduct, according to a list of arrests made Wednesday and early Thursday by police.
But a check of national sex offender registry records shows that the man is, in fact, registered as a sex offender at a Wichita address. He last updated his registration information on May 30, the national database shows.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, which handles local offender registrations, confirmed Thursday that the 39-year-old man’s registration is current as required under Kansas state law. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for life after being convicted of molesting a 3-year-old girl in 2005 in Santa Clara County, Calif., according to national registry records.
“He (the man) has been maintaining his registration (with the sheriff’s office) since May 2013,” sheriff’s Sgt. Tracy Spreier said. “So he is compliant in the state of Kansas for his registration requirements.”
The man was being held in Sedgwick County jail on Thursday evening without bond, according to an online search of inmates. Records show he was booked on suspicion of a probation violation and a California warrant. As of Thursday, he had not been formally charged in connection with either of those offenses or with a sex crimes connected to the incident alleged at the YMCA pool.
Records obtained from Sedgwick County District Court show the 39-year-old man has a history of violating registration requirements at least five times in the past, both locally and in California. He received 24 months probation last year after pleading guilty to one count of failing to register with the sheriff’s office “within three (3) business days of coming into Sedgwick County, the county in which the defendant resides or intends to reside,” the criminal complaint in the case shows.
The man also has several other prior convictions on his record, including drug possession and theft in Sedgwick County and multiple counts of trespassing in California, according to a check of district court records. The earliest of those convictions dates back to 1995, records show.