About a dozen registered sex offenders are employed or enrolled at San Diego State University, school police confirmed Monday.
SDSU’s list of 11 or 12 offenders includes at least one student and a handful of faculty, staff and contract workers, according to SDSU Police Lt. Randy Lawrence. None of them live on campus, and they are not allowed to work at the child care center.
State law requires sex offenders to register with SDSU police if they live on campus, are enrolled or are employed by the college. If they do not register with campus police, they violate their supervision, and a warrant could be issued for their arrest.
Unlike convicts whose names are made public on the state-run Megan’s Law website, SDSU cannot release the identities of offenders on campus. Lawrence said the list SDSU maintains includes more offenses, some of which may not be eligible for public disclosure.
"That's one of those things where you have there is the public safety issue, and then there's also the rights of the individual too, and that's why … it is, it's a delicate situation, and that’s why the state maintains that website and deals with it,” Lawrence said.
Of the 15,000 people employed by the school, the 11 or 12 registrants make up a tiny percentage, Lawrence said.
The list SDSU keeps of employed offenders is used for investigative purposes, like in sexual assault cases.
“If … we had a stranger-type case where we would then take a look at our list and compare and see if we have identifying factors that say that this might be the individual that could be involved,” said Lawrence.
No one on the list is suspected in the string of recent sexual assaults at SDSU. Lawrence said those reported attacks were mainly student-related and possibly involved acquaintances or someone the victims met at parties.
NBC 7 spoke to a few SDSU students about sex offenders on campus, and senior Max Struppe agreed with the police department’s handling of the list.
“I would always keep individual information private. I wouldn't just make it public like that. There should be like the proper officials handling it, not the public," said Struppe.
Others, like sophomore Alyssa Luna, vied for the names to be made public.
“I think all students should know who sex offenders are, like in your neighborhood, even at home — just everywhere. Just be aware,” Luna said.
Days after NBC 7 first aired this story, SDSU sent us its policy regarding how they hire those registered under California Penal Code 290 — the Sex Offender Registration Act. School officials sent the following statement:
"The safety of our campus community is of utmost importance. If the university is alerted through the hiring process or through a background check that an applicant for employment has been convicted of a sexual offense, the university will review the conviction details and determine whether the conviction conflicts with the duties and responsibilities of the position. In the event that there is a conflict (e.g. the position works with minors or in our residential housing), the applicant would be disqualified from consideration."