GREENVILLE, Ohio - A registered sex offender is facing new charges after he was found running a ride for kids at a local county fair.
Tyrus Worsham, 26, of Piqua was not supposed to be around children, let alone working on a ride designed for kids at the Great Darke County Fair last week.
While he awaits a hearing, 2 NEWS Investigates went looking for answers and found there's not many rules in place for keeping registered sex offenders off the list of people working at the fair.
Every year, the Darke County Sheriff's Office puts notebooks outside the entrances of the Great Darke County Fair. In them, are mug shots and information about their most wanted criminals and registered sex offenders. It's a tool for officers to keep the fair safer.
This year, they put those resources to use.
"Somebody just said, I believe he's a sex offender, you might want to check him out," said Detective Sgt. Mike Burns.
Detective Sergeant Burns said they found Tyrus Worsham working at one of the rides. Worsham has convictions dealing with sexual conduct with a minor and is listed as a tier 3 sex offender, the highest and most serious classification. Officers took him off the property and notified his parole officer.
"The next day when the adult parole authorities found out about it, they are going on no, he should not have been there. And they put a holder on him right away and then he was arrested," said Burns
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction tells 2 NEWS Investigates Worsham was in direct violation of a parole condition that reads "no unauthorized contact with minors."
They told us Worsham had not requested permission to attend or work at the fair. But we wanted to know why a registered sex offender was allowed to work there in the first place.
Natalie: "Is there anything against working at the fair?”
Burns: "Nothing against working the fair. Could maybe the employers there do a deeper background check and understand who It is they are hiring? I would recommend that, not only to anybody at a carnival setting, but anybody in general."
Burns says Worsham told them he was working for a company called Kissel Brothers Shows. The fair board has an agreement with them to operate rides at the fair.
2 NEWS Investigates did speak with the Great Darke County fair manager, and while he has no official comment on the situation, he did pass along a copy of the contacts they require all vendors to sign off on. There were no mentions of background checks or employee requirements in them.
Basically, it’s up to each individual vendor to screen their employees.
We called and emailed Kissel Brothers and have yet to get a response about their employment policy.
Luckily in this case, the Darke County Sheriff's Office proactive measures worked. They will be at it again next year.
Natalie: "Who's going to be monitoring this for future fairs?"
Sgt. Burns: "Well that's why we do what we do. People shouldn't go with a panic to the fair just because we're doing what we are doing. They should actually go with a little more piece of mind. There’s people that care, and there are people who are watching."
Sgt. Burns tells me it's not illegal for registered sex offenders to attend county fairs. It's only illegal if they have conditions as part of their parole to avoid certain groups.
We also checked with Montgomery County to see what their policy is. The fair manager told me they expect all of their food and ride vendors to background check their employees before bringing them to the fair.
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