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Bay Area sex offender was school festival volunteer

SAN JOSE — A California registered sex offender convicted of molesting a relative was caught volunteering at a Catholic elementary school festival, but he was not arrested because he had a permission letter from a church official.

The pastor of the church later said he was unaware of the letter, and the Santa Clara County sheriff's office and the Diocese of San Jose are trying to determine its validity, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/RDUP4m).

The sheriff's office said Mark Christopher Gurries, 51, was a volunteer at last month's St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Elementary School event In San Jose.

Someone recognized the sex offender and told a deputy who was working as security.

But Gurries wasn't arrested because he had a letter showing he had church permission to be there, the newspaper reported. However, the deputy escorted him off campus "out of an abundance of caution," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.


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