Employees: Child sex offender worked as Santa at Petco

Leonard Russell Kidd (Source: Virginia Sex Offender Registry)

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (AP) – Employees at a Wytheville pet store say a convicted child sex offender worked as Santa Claus at the store over the weekend, interacting with children and families while posing for pictures with pets.

The Roanoke Times reports court documents show 37-year-old Leonard Russell Kidd, of Max Meadows, pleaded guilty in 2002 to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy. He was released from prison last year.

His conditional release plan says he must stay away from events where children would be present unless he has his probation officer’s permission.

Kidd’s probation officer, Mike Montgomery, says he didn’t know about the Saturday event at Petco.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney says conditions of probation are confidential.

Petco spokeswoman Lisa Stark says Kidd is no longer at Petco. The company is investigating.


(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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