Parents Upset Over Lesser Charge For 'Peeping Tom' Janitor
by Mark Bellinger
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - Parents have called for change and demanding stronger sex offender laws because of a disturbing case in Williamson County when a janitor was accused of spying on little girls in the school bathroom.
State lawmakers have already drafted legislation to address parents' concerns.
The quick turnaround was in response to the requirements of the sex offender registry. A person must be a convicted of a felony to be on the registry.
The janitor accused of peeping on girls inside the elementary school in Brentwood was charged with a misdemeanor, meaning even if convicted his name will not go on the registry.
"It's nowhere near enough, because it starts with looking and escalates from there. These sex offenders start out testing some boundaries to see what they can get away with and then it progresses from there," said parent Tammy Myers.
She was talking about 48-year-old Victor Alvarado. The contracted janitor stood appeared in court before a judge for the first time Wednesday.
Police said Alvarado was caught hiding in the ceiling over a girls' restroom at Scales Elementary School in Brentwood. He was charged with observation without consent - which is a misdemeanor.
Officials said there was no other crime to charge Alvarado with. State lawmakers agree, so they have already drafted legislation to make what Alvarado was accused of doing a felony.
"This instance was egregious enough that we can certainly fashion and tailor a law that will address this or similar situations, where we have an adult or an authority person who is observing children in this manner, to be able to be very severely punished," said State Senator Jack Johnson.
Bills were filed Wednesday afternoon in both the House and Senate.
In court, Alvarado waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Now his case goes to a grand jury.