The suspect arrested Monday by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office in connection with a 10-year-old case of child molestation is currently employed by the City of Lodi.
According to a Wednesday press release from the sheriff’s office, a 17-year-old male victim contacted deputies on Jan. 23 and reported being “continuously sexually molested approximately 10 years ago,” by a man who worked at an after-school program at Davis Elementary School, a Lodi Unified School District school in Morada.
Detectives identified 29-year-old Kristopher Jones — who was employed by the Stockton Parks and Recreation Department from March 2008 to March 2012 — as the suspect before taking him into custody on Monday.
According to the San Joaquin County Jail’s website, Jones faces numerous felony charges including two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age, two counts of oral copulation with a victim under 10 years of age, contacting a minor for sexual intercourse and arranging to meet with a minor for sexual intercourse.
Lodi Unified School District released the following statement on Thursday:
“The Lodi Unified School District is disheartened to hear about the recent arrest of a (former) Stockton Parks and Recreation employee who was assigned to the Davis Elementary School campus for the after-school program. LUSD is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials...the individual was not employed by Lodi Unified School District.”
Jones is currently employed as a laborer by the Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, according to Jeff Hood, the department’s director and a spokesman for the City of Lodi who said Jones was hired seven years ago.
“He never had any supervisory role with children in his work. His primary job was setting up rooms for events, and cleaning the rooms — removing tables and chairs — after events,” Hood said. “As an employee of the City of Lodi, he never had any oversight of children.”
Hood said on Thursday that he learned of Jones’ arrest “a few days ago,” after receiving an alert through the city’s fingerprint background check system from the State of California.
Although he could not comment on the future of Jones’ employment status, Hood said he will be monitoring public records and court proceedings as the investigation continues.
“We’ll do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time,” Hood said.
Nancy Mellor, president of the Lodi Arts Foundation, said that Jones recently resigned from the foundation after being a member for two years. Mellor said she was not aware of Jones interacting with children during that time.
“He has just resigned from the Lodi Arts Foundation, he is no longer a member,” Mellor said. “We serve more adults than anyone else. I’m not aware of him having any contact with children.”
While he was still a member of the foundation’s committee, Mellor said Jones attended meetings regularly.
“He had wonderful ideas, and always carried through with everything he said he was going to do,” Mellor said. “He was chairman of the Blues and Brews Festival last year, and he did it perfectly.”
Jones is currently being held on $1,000,000 bail in San Joaquin County Jail, according to the jail’s website, and is scheduled to appear before the Lodi branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 8:15 a.m. Feb. 22.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office at 209-468-4404.