November 15, 2007 / 3:16 PM / 10 years ago

Pedophile allowed to work in kindergarten

BERLIN (Reuters) - A convicted pedophile sentenced to do community service in a German kindergarten will return to court next week to face charges of abusing two children there, a regional prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

The man was allowed to work as a janitor at the Evangelical Kindergarten St Petri in Melle, near the northern city of Osnabrueck, because a court worker missed three prior pedophilia convictions on his record, said Alexander Retemeyer, spokesman for the Osnabrueck prosecutor’s office.

The man, identified only as A.B., had been sentenced to 720 hours of community service earlier this year for working on the sly while collecting welfare payments.

“The colleague didn’t pay attention and didn’t see he had a sexual conviction, so she allowed him to serve in a kindergarten,” Retemeyer said. “She didn’t read the file.”

The prior convictions date from 1988-1990, when the man was living in the former East Germany, Retemeyer said. Though the convictions are listed in the man’s criminal record, the details are unclear because prosecutors cannot access his East German police file.

Police arrested the man in April after the head of the kindergarten reported he had fondled himself in front of two children.

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