Nothing in a registered sex offender's probation orders stopped him from visiting a local college, even though he had been ordered to stay away from college women, a probation department spokesman admitted Monday.
A probation officer informed registered sex offender Jesse James Spruill III last week that he could no longer visit San Diego State University, according to a spokesman for the County of San Diego Probation Office. Before Thursday, he was spotted visiting the Love Library on SDSU's campus.
"A lot of probation requirements and expectations are left to the discretion of the probation officer," Acosta said.
Spruill, 34, was convicted in 2001 of four felony counts, including charges of kidnapping, assault to commit a felony, making a criminal threat and false imprisonment by violence.
More recently, Spruill was convicted in 2008 for failing to register as a sex offender.
"The probation officer had reason to believe [Spruill] wasn't living where he said he was living, so he tracked him down and discovered he'd been hanging out at the library," Acosta said. Since Spruill was not previously informed as a condition of his probation that he could not be there, he has not yet been cited for a probation violation.
Officers are still investigating if Spruill has violated any other conditions of his probation. San Diego State police officers suspected he was spending the night at the Love Library, Acosta said.
"Obviously we take precautions with these individuals when they are interacting with young females," Acosta said.
Spruill is known to target young, college-aged Asian women, Acosta said. Police believe he was visiting someone he knows at Villa Alvarado residence hall. Acosta said the woman Spruill was dating did not understand that he was a registered sex offender but has since been informed by law enforcement officers.
"Sex offenders are generally not allowed to go within a certain area of schools, but some sex offenders actually attend school, and they are allowed to do that as long as they register with the university," Acosta said.
San Diego State police officers have not received any reports of Spruill being on campus since the community alert was released Thursday, but they did receive information that someone was removing the fliers posted around campus.
Spruill is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds, and has brown eyes and hair.
Anybody who sees him on campus is being asked to call police at 619-594-1991.