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Riverside City College student president sex offender conviction comes to light

April 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Someone anonymously posted a number of flyers around Riverside City College April 1, alerting students that the student body president is a registered sex offender.

Doug Figueroa, 40, of Riverside was convicted eight years ago of kidnapping, as well as lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14. He was a resident of Arizona at the time.

Other details about the case are scarce. Figueroa didn't serve prison. Court records show he was given probation after pleading guilty to the felony counts.

Figueroa did not want to go on camera but addressed the situation in a statement Thursday.

"My heart does go out to any victim of any kind of abuse," Figueroa said in an email. "I have worked hard in integrating back into society after making this mistake and not once have I blamed anyone but myself. I have apologized to the victim in person and I have taken accountability for everything I have done. But I need to move on with my life, and the position I have at RCC is helping me do just that."

Students on campus were shocked by the news about their leader, but many have given Figueroa support.

"I didn't look at him any differently. You can't judge someone off their past," said Manuel Gray, a friend of Figueroa's.

He says the student body president has done a lot for the campus, from his support of Proposition 30, to his efforts in starting a book rental program.

"I think he's an awesome guy," Gray said. "He's done so much. People make mistakes, and as human beings we learn from it."

On the other hand, many students don't feel comfortable with Figueroa as student body president. Ashley Magana says what many people aren't remembering is the victim in the case.

"That's what people aren't thinking about, yeah he's doing these great things now, but doing something that malicious isn't going to go away," Magana said.

Jim Parsons with RCC addressed the issue in a statement to Eyewitness News on Thursday:

"There was no policy, statute or ordinance that could prohibit this student from seeking office as student body president. [He's] been instructed by the appropriate College Student Services Administrator no to engage in activities that may violate the law."

Figeuroa reportedly did tell campus administration about his past before running for student body president.


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