(KMOV) - Roxana School District officials said they were not aware that a convicted child sex offender was released from prison and into the same community where one of her victims attended school.
Nicole Hobbs, 23, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by South Roxana Police after they were tipped off that Hobbs was at Roxana South Elementary School. Hobbs was serving prison time for unlawful restraint of two children. As part of her probation, Hobbs was being electronically monitored, but was not being tracked by GPS. Hobbs was registered as a sex offender after her release about two months ago, said police.
She was able to enter the school because of a free breakfast and lunch program open to the public.
During the lunch program, made possible by a federal grant, there was no security on hand who could recognize a child sex offender.
South Roxana Police Chief Bob Coles admitted he should’ve informed the district about Hobbs, but didn’t consider her a threat because he didn’t think that the young victim still attended the school or was in the area.
“I didn’t know at the time that child still resided in our town until we found out in our investigation,” said Chief Coles. “I didn’t know the child was still living here”.
Security during the federally funded Seamless Summer School Lunch Program is more lax compared to summer school, said Roxana Assistant Superintendent Stephen Oertle.
District officials will rethink bringing the meal program back, and would eliminate it if it compromises student safety, said Oertle.