Sex offender arrested after going to Sunnyvale school


At the South Peninsula Hebrew Day School in Sunnyvale the head of school says fortunately the man never made it past the front office, despite his efforts to appear as if he belonged there.

"He presented himself as a prospective parent and dressed in a way, he was wearing a yamaka on his head," said Allen Selis, Ph.D., the head of school.

When Theodore Lorigo entered South Peninsula Hebrew Day School, staff members say he did what he could to fit in. Yet they still turned him away because they say something just didn't feel right.

"The way of dress, the way he was presenting himself, the way he was groomed... it's really instinct," said Selis.

It turns out Lorigo is a registered sex offender, convicted of kidnapping a child with the intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts.

School staff members learned of his status after other members in the community spotted him lurking at churches and synagogues. After confirming Lorigo's identity, investigators arrested him for stepping foot on school property.

"It is a violation of the sex registration laws that he's responsible for and he was placed under arrest for it," said Capt. Jeff Hunter from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

Lorigo's criminal record spans decades. ABC7 News covered his 1994 arrest in which police say he kidnapped a 9-year-old girl and tried to abduct two other girls in the Santee neighborhood of San Jose. Parents at South Peninsula Hebrew Day School say knowing that Lorigo came close to their children is unsettling.

"There are security cameras in the school. There's a gate. It's a secure campus, so everything worked, but it just feels too close for comfort," said Esther Rosenfeld, a parent.

Lorigo is also known to dress as a female. Anyone with information about him is asked to call the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

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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