Co-Ed Sex Offenders, Part One

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In January, a Texas A&M employee was arrested and charged with 27 crimes relating to inappropriate acts with children.

The university said they wouldn't comment on on-going criminal investigations, but this situation raised the question, are there other sex offenders on college campuses? The answer is yes.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says there are 455 registered sex offenders that are affiliated with Texas colleges.

"I was not aware of it to be honest, this is the first time I'm actually hearing about it," Sam Houston State University Student Ifiok Okpon said.

"You'd rather know that you could feel safe around all of your staff, but I guess it's also to be expected within a school this big," Texas A&M Student Kim Lish said.

According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, registered sex offenders must register by the seventh day of employment or admission at a university or college.
That information must be given to campus security, and if security doesn't exist, local law enforcement in the area must be notified.

"On the conviction of an offense that has sexual nature, whether it's an adult or a child, there are statutory requirements that say the offender then has to register as a sex offender in their home county," Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk said.

Both Texas A&M and Sam Houston State University list the registered sex offenders on their University Police Department websites.

Texas A&M lists five: two students, one contractor, and two employees. However, the Department of Public Safety website shows that seven registered sex offenders are affiliated with A&M.
According to A&M officials, their website is up to date. DPS said that there is lag time when it comes to updating the registry.

"If they work here I guess just let people know," Texas A&M University Student Jacob Macelroy said. "I mean other than that I don't see what you would do."

Sam Houston lists three on the UPD website: one student and two employees.
The Texas Department of Public Safety lists only one, again a discrepancy that points to lag time.

"In order for them to have been registered, the law had to have dealt with them in some way," Jennifer Ellis, a Sam Houston State University Student said. "I figure that everyone deserves a second chance and I am not going to judge them based on their past because I don't want people to judge me based on mine."

Blinn College does not list registered sex offenders on their website and said they have none at this time.
However, a quick check of the DPS website shows otherwise. It lists four Blinn students.
Officials with Blinn say none of the four students currently attend their college.

"You kind of have to know all of the information before you purely judge somebody on that," Krystle Jenkins, a Texas A&M student said.
"But when it comes to other stuff, as a girl, you are always weary and try to be aware of what's going on."

All three institutions said they follow specific procedures when hiring or admitting registered sex offenders.

In the second installment of "Co-Ed Sex Offenders," we'll talk to officials with the local institutions and explore why registered sex offenders are allowed on campus. We'll also explain what one university is doing to keep their student's safer.

Catch part two of the series Tuesday night at 10 p.m.