Pender County sex offender caught attending school function - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Sex offender caught attending school basketball game

Detective Sgt. John Leatherwood says McIntyre's offenses should have stamped him as a sex offender. Detective Sgt. John Leatherwood says McIntyre's offenses should have stamped him as a sex offender.

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A convicted sex offender was caught attending a local high school basketball game Tuesday, and the school may have already known about the suspect's history.

Darius McIntyre, 20, was arrested after a new Pender High School resource officer recognized his face at that game.

Detective Sgt. John Leatherwood says McIntyre's offenses, including charges for first degree sex offense of a child, indecent liberties with a child and crimes against nature, should have stamped the suspect as a lifetime registered sex offender.

McIntyre was a 16-year-old student at Heide Trask High School when he was first arrested and charged in 2007. At that time, he was still a student.

However, he hadn't yet been convicted, and he was allowed to attend high school sporting events and activities. That allowance was in a letter given to authorities, approved by the assistant superintendent.

Authorities say convicted sex offenders are forbidden by law to attend activities where children may be present, like athletic events. But one year and two days after McIntyre was charged, he was convicted of the first degree sex offense against a child charge.

WECT's Lindsay Curtin asked Det. Leatherwood, "Did Pender County schools break the law with this?"

"It's against North Carolina state statute. I'll say that," said Leatherwood.

McIntyre and his mother told and detectives that the arrest was not his fault, and that school officials didn't lay down any rules against him for the years he had been attending games after his conviction.

"I pretty much have communicated with the [school] board and told them that we need to really monitor this closely, because this is not the way it is supposed to be," said Leatherwood.

The school board's policy says a registered sex offender who has been convicted of any sexually violent offense or any offense in which the victim was under the age of 16 years at the time of the offense are expressly forbidden from athletic events.

The exception would be if this offender was a student, and in McIntyre's case, he was.

In that case, the policy states that he must be supervised by personnel at all times.

Pender County school authorities say it is their responsibility to report to the superintendent and law enforcement if they see the offender at any extracurricular event.

Tuesday was the first time McIntyre had been caught after attending games for more than four years after his conviction.

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