Sheriff Tries To Reassure Parents Following SJ Church Sex Offender Scandal
SAN JOSE (KCBS) – In the wake of a scandal over a registered sex offender volunteering at a recent parish festival in San Jose, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is working with parents to hear their concerns.
The pastor who invited 51-year-old Mark Gurries to work the event, Rev. Lieu Vu, has since resigned.
The controversy started when a former student at Saint Francis Cabrini was surprised to see Gurries working at a parish festival on October 6. That student had found Gurries’ photo online on the Megan’s Law list of sex offenders.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:
Gurries had been convicted in 2010 and sentenced to a year in jail for committing lewd and lascivious acts on a minor under 14. He was eventually escorted off campus by sheriff’s deputies following complaints from parents.
Sheriff Smith met with some of those concerned parents for four hours on Tuesday.
“We brought flyers, we brought maps, we brought information on the Internet, we brought information about child offenders,” Smith said. “But I want the parents to set the tone. I want the parents to tell me what they’re looking for from us.”
Cindy Gajewski has three children attending the school and said the meeting was a good idea.
“We’ve been having plenty of meetings so everybody’s expressing the way they feel and their concerns,” she said.
An open forum was scheduled for Wednesday night, organized by the Diocese of San Jose, for parents at the school.
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