Accused sex offender lived next to schools and daycare
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - A man accused of crimes against children living by a school and a daycare center is shocking many neighborhood residents. The investigation into his crimes isn't over yet.
Tucson Police arrested 21-year-old Christian Mancilla Thursday on 10 counts including sexual exploitation of a minor. Police say they were alerted by Los Angeles Police that he was living in Tucson, and had posted child sexual abuse images on facebook.com. Working with LAPD and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they found he was in possession of hundreds of exploitative images. Prior to the arrest, he was not on the registered sex offender list.
Daycare employee Mayra Rosales says hearing about the arrest was shocking. She and her co-workers take care of several children during the week on the same street.
"How can somebody do that to children? That's just sickening. It makes me feel sick to my stomach," she said.
The daycare center already had a similar situation when police notified them of an arrest of a registered sexual offender living nearby just 6 months ago. Rosales says they will be keeping a close eye on everyone in the neighborhood, and stay prepared to handle the unexpected.
"We have an evacuation plan for any kind of situation and phone numbers that we can call to keep the kids safe," she said.
Just across the street, parents and children frequent the YMCA building, especially after school.
"it's not a surprise. I wish I could say it was," said one YMCA parent Laura McCormick, "It's not. It's a sign that we know people fall through the cracks. It's inevitable in the world we live in."
According to TPD, they've had 13 cases of child sex abuse photos just this year. Seven of them, like Mancilla's, involved suspects online using sites like facebook and myspace.
"they have had a series of cases this year, several cases now where they have had investigations that led to or stemmed from the trading or use of these internet social media sites," said Sgt. Matt Ronstadt, "fortunately we have a lot of resources through partnering with other agencies, a lot of the Federal agencies. But, in many cases we're able to actually through a series of computer forensics tools, work back to a suspect."
He says those partnerships are allowing them to catch more, but prevention is often up to parents like McCormick.
"you have to talk to your children, you have to educate your children," she said, "Education is the number one defense against this sort of thing."
Police are still investigating whether or not any of the children in the photos had direct contact with Mancilla. Anyone with any information is urged to call TPD or 88-CRIME.