Where Sex Offenders Work in Lubbock: NewsChannel 11 Investigates - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/17/08

Where Sex Offenders Work in Lubbock: NewsChannel 11 Investigates

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The information NewsChannel 11 is about to give you in this story is not yet available to the public. Last week, NewsChannel 11 told you about how you'll soon be able to go online to find out where registered sex offenders are working in your community. We told you NewsChannel 11 were working on getting that list for you first, we have it now.

It was on the Internet a 12 year-old boy met the man who would sexually assault him.  His mother says her son was touched by that man.  "We're both scarred for life," she told NewsChannel 11.

She would rather not tell her name, for she and her son would like to forget what happened six years ago.  "The gentleman who assaulted him is still in prison," she told us.  That is a relief to this mother because if he was out of jail and working, she would want everyone to know what he did.  

NewsChannel 11 has a stack of 16 hundred pages of registered sex offenders in Texas. We got it from the Department of Public Safety.  It is employment information they will be posting on the Internet sometime this summer. But we have it now. The research was extensive.  A team of NewsChannel 11 employs went through all the information, highlighting the ones working in Lubbock.  We found 94 of them. Then we went back to match a name by cross referencing an ID number and confirmed where they work after calling their employers. 

After you hear what we found, you will be more cautious about who's coming to your door.  Like for instance the cable guy.  DPS says Jeraldo Ramirez, who works for Suddenlink as a field service tech, is also a convicted sex offender.   His crime, indecency with a 13 year-old girl by sexual contact.  Even though that happened more than ten years ago, he is labeled a sex offender. We found more who are working in warehouses, restaurants and some who have their own landscaping company. We even found offenders working at hospitals. But we are going to tell you about the ones the state considers a danger to the community.

Toby Villa stocks Coca Cola products inside stores in and around Lubbock.  He is a merchandiser.  But you should know he is a convicted sex offender for sexual assault on a 14 year-old girl. We found a cook at Cujos sports bar and grill.  Wilber Thomas was convicted for indecency with a nine year-old girl by sexual contact.  Leonard Fabila works at Cici's Pizza located at 60th and Slide.  He is a dishwasher there and doesn't deal directly with the public.  Fabila was convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a three year old girl.  The next one we found is a student at Texas Tech University.  Andrew Raffaelle is 21 years-old now, but committed his crime when he was 14 years-old.  He was convicted of sexually assaulting a nine year-old boy and a two year-old girl.

These next offenders are considered high risk, which according to DPS, are a serious danger to the community.  We found John Hanson.  He is a Biology Teaching Assistant at Texas Tech University.  He was convicted of indecency with a 15 year-old boy by sexual contact. And finally, Andrew Galicia.  He works at Chicken Express located at 4704 4th Street. He was convicted of indecency with a 5 year-old boy by sexual contact.

Regardless of their crimes, the simple fact is, they all must work to live and pay their bills. Which is why Robert Kollman, owner and operator of Chicken Express hired Galicia.  "My response with Andrew, I've got an employee who's been working for me for a year and a half. I really feel that I made a great decision at the time based on the facts.  I can stand behind that, at no point would I ever be putting my customers, my employees or business at risk," he said.

Kollman says he's not in favor of this new requirement of making employment information public. He says it gives room for public scrutiny and negative publicity.   "If I make a decision based on this law then when I do that and I say I don't want to hire them, then I'm not following my convictions of giving people a second chance," said Kollman.

But as for the mother of the sexually assaulted boy, she believes the law is in place to make it easier for parents to protect their children.  "I think it's still important to know where they're at and how they're conducting themselves," said the mother. 

Law enforcement says half of the sex offenders change jobs frequently.  Police say they must keep close tabs on them, especially the ones who commit crimes against children. They make sure they're not holding jobs that deal directly with children. But, as we just told you, children are in stores and they do go to restaurants; places we've just learned sex offenders work. NewsChannel 11 will let you know when DPS has their website up and running so you can look up this information on your own.

UPDATE:

Since our story aired, we were contacted by management at Cujo's Sports Bar and Grill.  They informed the station, Wilber Ray Thomas is no longer an employee at Cujo's.  According to employment information they provided to NC 11, Thomas was terminated 6-03-07. 

Before airing our story, NC11 confirmed every place of employment by calling each job place and asking for the sex offender by name.  We received confirmation from every place we called, that person was employed there.

We are in the process of calling Shallowater P.D. who is responsible for reporting information regarding Thomas's whereabouts.  We'll let you know what we find out.  In the meantime, DPS says they rely on the appropriate law agencies where a sex offender lives for proper registration information:

"DPS cannot guarantee the records you obtain through this site relate to the person about whom you are seeking information. Searches based on names, dates of birth and other alphanumeric identifiers are not always accurate. The only way to positively link someone to a sex offender record is through fingerprint verification."

Their advice for those going to the sex offender registry is to use extreme care with the information you find.

Lubbock PD Registered Sex Offenders
Look up Registered Sex Offenders by ZIP code.

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