The Riverside City College student body president is a registered sex offender who has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and committing lewd acts with a child less than 14 years old.
School officials knew about the status of Doug Robert Figueroa, 40, prior to his run for office, but in a statement, they said they had “determined that there was no policy, statute or ordinance that could prohibit this student from seeking office as student body president” and that there were “legal considerations the college and district had to consider related to any announcement.”
Court records show Figueroa committed the felonies in October 2005. He pleaded guilty and was convicted of two felony counts four months later. He received 10 years of probation in March 2006.
The terms of Figueroa’s probation included 39 provisions that prevent him from accepting work in “any position where minors are present” or attending social functions where activities with minors are the “primary function.”
In a statement posted on the Associated Students of Riverside College home page, Figueroa wrote that “life will always come with challenges and struggles,” but stopped short of discussing his status as a sex offender. Figueroa emailed the statement to the Riverside Press-Enterprise on Wednesday. Figueroa did not immediately respond to an email inquiry from the Los Angeles Times.
“We all have the capability of making the best and the worst of decisions throughout our lives,” Figueroa wrote. “And some of those decisions can have a life-long impact. It is up to us to give ourselves the opportunity to live a better life, to make better decisions and not allow our past to define who we are today. It is also our responsibility to give each other that opportunity and chance to be a better person.”
The Press-Enterprise reported that students first learned of Figueroa’s history when they saw anonymous black-and-white fliers pinned to bulletin boards on campus.
The fliers were titled “MOLESTER OF CHILDREN! ALSO KNOWN AS DOUG ROBERT FIGUEROA PRESIDENT OF THE ASRCC.”
Some students told the newspaper they were shocked by the news and upset the school administration did not disclose Figueroa’s record.
“Given the nature of his violation, there are certain legal obligations and restrictions, which [Figueroa] is legally required to perform,” the school’s statement said. “He is aware of this issue and has also been instructed by the appropriate College Student Services Administrator not to engage in activities that may violate the law.”
The Riverside Community College District, the statement said, “has complied with all of its legal obligations pertaining to this issue and is continuing to monitor the situation to ensure the safety and security of its students and staff.”
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