Sex offender attempts to enter Sunnyvale school

March 7, 2014 3:54:16 PM PST
There are new details about the criminal past of a convicted sex offender, and known cross-dresser, who made his way on to a South Bay school campus.

The parents of students at that day school are grateful that the convicted sex offender was stopped. Police want to know if there are other victims, anywhere else.

"The school is responsible for my son's safety. They took care of it and caught him," said Alisa Preil, parent.

Parents are reacting to the news that convicted sex offender Theodore Lorigo walked onto the campus of South Peninsula Hebrew Day School recently and tried to blend in, even wearing a yarmulke on his head. But Principal Allen Selis was suspicious.

"Something was just off, the way he dressed, the way he presented himself. I wanted to make sure that we meet that person first and we decide who gets to be near the kids and who doesn't. This was a guy who was not going to get anywhere near our kids by anyway," said Selis.

Lorigo was later arrested because sex offenders can't be on school property. His criminal record spans decades. ABC7 News covered his 1994 arrest. Police say he kidnapped the nine-year-old girl and try to abduct two other children in San Jose. At the time, one of the young girls wrote a school essay about the attempted abduction, saying the man who lured her said he needed her help to find his lost puppy.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office says Lorigo served eight years in prison. Police say Lorigo often dresses as a female; he was recently charged by police for having a driver's license with a woman's name on it. Lorigo's mugshots from the past shows his appearance can change dramatically.

School staff members learned his status after other members of the community spotted him lurking at churches and synagogues, sometimes dressed as a woman.

"I didn't seem dressed as a woman but others who have said that it shock he was a man, it's a frightening way of proceeding and it's a lesson to all of this to be cautious," said Selis.

Lorigo has not taken legal steps to become a female. He is due in court next week.

UPDATE: The charges against Theodore Lorigo have been dropped. Prosecutors say Lorigo is not the same person spotted on the campus. Lorigo told ABC7 News she feels good about the outcome, is not a re-offender, and has turned her life around.

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