background check, sexual misconduct

A Roundup of Recent Sex Offender and Sexual Misconduct News Stores; How Can Employers Avoid These Types of Disasters?

What is the best background check to spot sex offenders or prevent sexual misconduct from occurring in the workplace? Employers often pose these questions due to the risk that sexual misconduct can pose from both a legal liability standpoint and a public image/branding perspective. Unfortunately, sexual misconduct and background checks have been in the news on multiple occasions recently. Here are several highlights.

-In southwest Florida, a registered sex offender named James Tennant faces criminal charges and prison time for failing to register as a sex offender and for using a fake name to land jobs with carnivals and fairs around the state. Most recently, Tennant was caught working at the Lee County Fair, and an article from the Florida-based WINK News reports that the perpetrator has previously been “caught working at carnivals in Lake County and Manatee County without registering as a sex offender.” Tennant has reportedly used the alias James Martino to avoid detection through background checks. This story underlines the fact that the best background check is often the one that goes beyond a simple name-based check. Adding extra elements to a check, such as alias checks and Social Security Number validations, can make it more difficult for offenders to hide their true identities.

-Similarly, in Denver, police recently arrested a 21-year-old pizza delivery driver “for sexual assault, stalking and trying to enter a home,” per a report from a local FOX affiliate. The suspect’s name is Cyrus Warren, and he is reportedly also a registered sex offender. Warren allegedly had several interactions with a young girl at an apartment complex while making pizza deliveries. Such interactions are illegal for a sex offender. Warren has also been accused of sexually assaulting a woman and numerous other crimes, all in the past year. As to why Warren’s sex offender history didn’t show up on his pre-employment background check at Domino’s – the pizza chain for which he worked – authorities have speculated that he may have been a minor himself when he committed his sex offense. If that were the case, the offense would be on his juvenile record and, therefore, not accessible to all employers.

-In Eugene, Oregon, a former childcare worker was recently convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to 15 years and three months in prison. The offender is 26-year-old Christian Galindo, who worked as part of an after-school program for the Eugene YMCA between September 2019 and March 2020. Prior to the YMCA job, Galindo had previously worked in childcare capacities for several other employers, including the City of Eugene and a head start child education program. According to KEZI News, a local ABC affiliate, Galindo had been fired from several of his previous jobs “due to inappropriate touching” but was still able to get a job at the YMCA. Galindo ultimately pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, all involving victims under the age of 10. He was employed at the YMCA when at least one of those incidents occurred. The YMCA has since issued a statement confirming that it does require “detailed background checks” and “robust training” for all employees and that Galindo completed both.

-In the Miami Beach area, two drivers for the ridesharing service Lyft were recently arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting female passengers in a pair of separate, unrelated incidents. Lyft has responded to the allegations by touting its protective features and policies, including background checks for all drivers and emergency support from ADT, a well-known home security company. Both cases involved victims who were allegedly intoxicated or incapacitated at the time of the assaults, prompting local experts to warn customers to use caution when taking rideshares. Common tips include booking rides with friends, avoiding excessive alcohol intake prior to using rideshares, and more.

The best thing employers can do to avoid these types of cases is to be thorough and vigilant with their background checks and employee monitoring. At backgroundchecks.com, we offer criminal history checks, sex offender registry checks, alias checks, SSN validations, and ongoing criminal monitoring – all tools that can help employers protect themselves, their employees, and their customers. Learn more by contacting us today.

Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at EY-VODW.com and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.

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