Randy Lee Ronning – Repeat Sex Offender – Slipped through the cracks

A convicted sex offender and former Bloomington youth sports coach recently charged with molesting two girls apparently slipped through a background check to work for Bloomington Public schools a decade ago.

Randy Lee Ronning, 36, of Bloomington, was charged last week with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a witness allegedly saw him molesting a girl in a motel room at a Bloomington Days Inn, where he was babysitting.

Police talked to one girl who said Ronning touched her inappropriately, while a second said that Ronning, her longtime babysitter, had molested her since she was 8 years old.

Ronning helped coach floor hockey in early 2008 and softball in the spring of 2006 for the Bloomington Athletic Association (BAA). The teams were for girls ages 8 to 10.

The BAA did not do a background check on Ronning, the group said. Police said they will work with the BAA on how to do such checks.

The revelation prompted police to send letters to parents whose children might have had him as their coach, though there was no evidence that Ronning committed any offenses while coaching, said Bloomington police Sgt. Mark Stehlik.

In 1992, Ronning was convicted of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Hennepin County. Police say that although the circumstances were different, that crime also involved a juvenile female. Police say a background check would have revealed that conviction.

Despite the existence of that record, the Bloomington public schools system hired Ronning in June 1999 to work as a school bus aide in the transportation center. Though his 1992 conviction should have stood out on a background check, it slipped by, said Bloomington Schools spokesperson Rick Kaufman.

Kaufman said that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension performs the school system’s background checks and that no offenses by Ronning were found.

“Had that conviction shown up, I can guarantee you he would not have been hired to work in the district,” Kaufman said.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Sara Payne – ‘Victims’ Tsar’ – Sarah’s Law

A trial scheme which allows parents to obtain information about sex offenders could be extended nationwide.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said even the limited experiment had already saved ten youngsters from potential abuse.

Their parents had used the Child Sexual Offender Disclosure Pilot to learn about the past convictions of partners or carers.

The trial started last September following years of pressure for a ‘Sarah’s Law’ on the release of information about paedophiles.

The campaign was inspired by the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne in 2000 by convicted sex offender Roy Whiting.

From today, the pilot, which is being trialled in Warwickshire, will be extended across three more police force areas, Cleveland, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire.

Miss Smith said she hoped the scheme would eventually go nationwide if it was deemed to be a success.

So far 79 people have applied for information under the trial scheme. Police sent one man a warning letter after he sent inappropriate text messages to a young girl.

The Home Office’s pilot stops well short of a UK version of Megan’s Law, which gives U.S. citizens the right to know the name and address of any nearby paedophile.

British parents have no right to be told the number of offenders living close to them.

Only those with a child who comes into close contact with an offender are likely to be given information.

Parents can have their requests refused although Home Office officials were unable to say how often this has happened.

The Home Secretary added: ‘Drawing in families and allowing them to take responsibility and share their concerns with the police is a positive way forward.

‘In tackling crime you need people to stand alongside police. And in the police areas where the schemes have been operating I would say we are giving children a better deal.’

Sara Payne, mother of Sarah and the Government’s ‘Victims’ Tsar’, said: ‘I would say we are giving families a better deal by including them in child protection. They should be, and need to be, involved.

‘By next year I hope any problems will have been ironed out. I want to be able to answer anyone who has a downside to the scheme.’

Mrs Payne had campaigned for a UK law much closer to the US system.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Published in: on March 16, 2009 at 4:02 am  Leave a Comment