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Retired Army Major Arrested For Reading To Children

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WHITTIER (CBS) — A retired Army major, who is also a registered sex offender, has been released on bail after he walked onto an elementary school campus, sheriff’s officials said.

John W. Davis, 56, of Whittier, was arrested around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday for allegedly volunteering to read to children at Los Altos Elementary School.

He showed up at the school on Nov. 10 wearing his uniform, Sgt. Andrew Ruiz of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station said.

Davis is a registered sex offender who was convicted of felony attempted lewd acts with a child under the age of 14 in 2000, Ruiz said.

“School officials were unaware of Davis’ conviction when he was allowed to read to the school children at a ‘Heroes Day’ at the school to celebrate Veterans Day,” Ruiz said.

Authorities found out about the incident Friday as they were verifying addresses of all the registered sex offenders in the unincorporated area near Whittier, Ruiz said. The deputies recognized Davis from the reading event at the school and began an investigation.

“There is a tremendous amount of public access to information on the Internet for parents and guardians to be proactive about the protection of their children. We encourage you to use it,” Captain Pat Maxwell said.

“Often, suspects in child abuse cases gained access to their victims through positions of trust. Proactive parents and guardians are the best protection for any child.”

Davis was released on bail just after midnight, according to the sheriff’s Inmate Information Center.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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