HILLSBORO, Kan. – Parents in Hillsboro are upset after learning a convicted sex offender worked in the same building as a daycare. The Kids Connection Daycare is located inside The Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church but the two entities are separate.
The janitor, who has since resigned, was convicted of sex crimes against a 15-year-old more than 20 years ago when he was in his 40s.
While Kansas law prohibits sex offenders from working or regularly volunteering for daycares, the church says it did not violate any laws because the janitor worked for it, not the daycare.
The church hired the sex offender to work as a janitor, but former employees at the daycare say he regularly visited their facility to help fix broken equipment or tend to the restrooms.
Parents with kids at the daycare called Eyewitness news with questions about the perceived loophole.
Dan Monnat is a defense attorney based out of Wichita, answered some of those questions. Monnat is not representing any of the parties in this story but he shared his legal opinion on the situation.
“Well I suppose some people could say there is a loophole in the law because the daycare facility, although completely separate from the church, was attached to the church. But you could also say there is a loophole in the law because the sex offender is allowed to walk down the sidewalk or allowed to deliver pizza or mail or hand bills to the address of the daycare facility,” Monnat said.
Monnat also says the legality of the sex offender’s presence near the daycare depends on how often he helped fix items at the daycare. If the visits were regular that would violate Kansas law, but if they were sporadic then they may not violate the law.
Monnat says this discrepancy isn’t technically a loophole. He says if people don’t like it they should petition lawmakers to draft new legislation that would dictate more clearly where and with whom sex offenders can work.