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Cal State Long Beach cops release details on banned student

Detective on case delves into details and larger issues of campus sex offenders.

Adam R. Thomas, Staff Writer

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Detective Chris Brown of Cal State Long Beach’s University Police Department revealed that Juan Lucio Solis, the student barred from campus last week, has not physically assaulted anyone, nor committed a criminal offense.

“In this particular instance, Mr. Solis’ behavior became concerning enough that we decided to go ahead and revoke his access [to campus] for up to 14 days,” Brown said. “His student conduct will be reviewed and then a hearing will take place, and then the decision for any kind of disciplinary matters will be handled by the university directly.”

Solis, a current CSULB student who was convicted of an assault with the intent to commit rape in 2011, was barred from campus Feb. 6 pending a student conduct review. Campus administration then released a public advisory notify the campus student body of Solis’ status as a registered sex offender and threatening behavior.

While nothing Solis had done rose to the level of criminal offense, Brown said the reports received by UPD would be concerning for student conduct and had made female students fear for their safety.

“He says creepy things,” Brown said. “His pattern is to approach students, female students and I don’t mean to say aggressive in a violent way, but [using] verbally aggressive ways of asking them out or commenting on the way they look – making creepy statements to put these individuals on edge.”

After the notice went out last week, several individuals reported incidents involving Solis that the UPD had not been made aware of prior to the issuance of the 14-day ban.

“So, we never knew,” Brown said. “In one particular case, a student reported it to a professor and some training was done through the office of Equity and Diversity, but no one ever made the report to the police department so we had no way of connecting all these things.”

While this information may be concerning for the CSULB student body, Brown reaffirmed that Solis had served his time for the prior criminal offense and hasn’t yet committed another.

“I know there’s the popular feeling out there for him just to get kicked off and never allowed back on, but he’s got rights, too,” Brown said. “As long he stays within good behavior then he should be able to continue his education here. We felt at the time that we needed to warn the public about his offender status.”

The decision to post a notice of a registered sex offender on campus about Solis was an unprecedented move on the part of the California State University system. Brown said that the decision was not made lightly, and that he had been in contact with Deputy Attorney General Janet Neely about the proclamation.

“It’s pretty unheard of for any university to put out this kind of announcement, but [Neely] agreed with our assessment that we at least needed to warn the community,” Brown said. “Because I don’t know if Mr. Solis is going to commit another sex-based crime, but I would hate to be knowledgeable of his past offenses and the fact that he was an offender and is registered and then something happen and not have done anything about it.”

Brown expressed concern that the Megan’s Law website wasn’t effective for students wishing to search for their universities on the site directly.  

“Really, the purpose of that announcement was just to let the public know the exact same kind of information that they would have got on the Megan’s Law website had they been able to search under ‘Cal State Long Beach,’” said Brown said.

According to Brown, there are roughly 15 registered sex offenders attending or working at CSULB. Registered sex offenders must notify campus police of their status when they first enter into the CSU system and when they leave. If students or locals wish to view this registry, they can review them at the UPD station after signing forms to agree that the information won’t be used for criminal action or that the viewers are registered sex offenders themselves.

Brown wanted to reassure the campus community that just because someone is on a sex offender registry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re an active threat, and was wary of creating a “witch hunt” mentality.

“We’re very careful. When individuals come to register with me, the first thing I look at is their risk of future recidivism,” Brown said. “If they’re low, I don’t make the announcement to the community because a lot of these crimes are 5, 10, 20 years old, they’re just lifelong registrants. Or, there’s no danger based on the type of crime … I take all of those things into a balancing act when I decide whether or not we need to [announce]. This just happened to be the first one, and it only became the first one because his behavior over time became concerning.”

 

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