LOS ANGELES – Inside the carnival business we found registered sex offenders and there is nothing police can do about it.
Street festivals are places for kids to have fun, but how do you know who is working or booking rides at the festivals? What is in their hidden past?
That’s what we wanted to know about one man.
David Goldstein: “Why are you operating under an assumed name if you’re not doing anything wrong?”
Tony Mattalano: “No comment.”
David Goldstein: “Mattalano. Mattalano.”
He goes by the name of Tony Mattalano. He runs Magical Event Creations. Their Web site says that they have been in business for 30 years, renting amusement rides, like ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, to places where there are plenty of kids.
“So this is the ferris wheel as you probably are aware of,” Mattalano said to our undercover producer.
Mattalano invited our producer to meet with him last weekend at this street festival where he says he provided some of the rides.
“Now this is a kiddy ride here,” Mattalano said.
She had e-mailed him about hiring his company for a festival. He returned the e-mails as Tony Mattalano and he bragged about his credentials.
“We’ve done movie premier parties for all the big movies that come out,” Mattalano said.
We walked with Matalano through the crowd of children. He then introduced us to his associate.
“This is Cary Brandon,” Mattalano said.
After we left, we watched as Mattalano and Brandon stayed at the festival for hours.
Who is Tony Mattalano?
We traced him to an apartment building in San Pedro. His real name is Anthony Scovotto, a registered sex offender.
We obtained his photo from the LAPD. For some reason it’s not on his page on the Megan’s Law Web site.
Scovotto plead guilty in 2001 to attempted lewd acts on a child under 14 and possession of child pornography.
When he was on probation in 2005, he was ordered by the judge to be accompanied by a responsible adult, while in the company of minors. But that probation has since expired.
Now there is nothing preventing him from being at the festival or even organizing carnivals.
David Goldstein: “Hey Tony Mattalano, David Goldstein with CBS 2 News. You’re name isn’t really Tony Mattalano is it?”
Tony Mattalano: “Why do you ask?”
David Goldstein: I’m asking because it’s anthony scovotto isn’t it?
Tony Mattalano: “Can I help you?”
He wouldn’t confirm or deny the names, but denied that he was at the carnival.
David Goldstein: “You’re working carnival rides and you are a registered sex offender. Do you see anything wrong with that?”
Tony Mattalano: “I don’t work carnivals”
David Goldstein: “You put carnivals together. You were out there this weekend.”
Tony Mattalano: “I was?”
David Goldstein: “Yes, you were out there on Saturday.”
Tony Mattalano: “Yeah?”
He says he only books rides and isn’t doing anything wrong.
David Goldstein: “Why are you operating under an assumed name if you are not doing anything wrong?”
Tony Mattalano: “No comment.”
And what about his associate Cary Brandon? He is also on meganslaw.com. Brandon was convicted of annoying or molesting a child according to the Web site.
Last year in Kern County he was charged with the same crime for inappropriately touching a young girl on a carnival ride. The charge was dropped.
The festival has since moved from the streets around Compton Avenue. The organizers say of course they did not know about the sex offenders. The man who ran the rides says he did not know about them either, but the bottom line is neither man was breaking the law.
Despite tough sex crime laws, most sex offenders can be at street festivals or carnivals, according to retired LAPD sex crime Detective Bill Dworin.
“The misconception is if a person’s not on probation or parole, there’s no restrictions other than the fact that they are required to be registered for a lifetime,” Dworin said.
But police say Scovotto is breaking the law by using an alias. Registered sex offenders are not allowed to do that. But he was not talking about it as he drove away.