While Santa Claus has a reputation for being holly and jolly—his impersonators aren't always so innocent. Although we'd hope that Santa Claus impersonators have records as squeaky clean as Father Christmas's—we can't always promise this security with human beings. Take a look at one of the most controversial crime stories of the holiday season and let us know your thoughts on this case in the comments section on Facebook.
Robert Bruce Kendal is a 48-year-old sex offender from Florida who was found guilty for sexual battery of a child under 12 in 1993.
Florida state law prohibits registered sex offenders, who were convicted of crimes against a child from under 16 years of age, from living within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, playground, park or other place frequented by children. Sex offenders must list their employment on their registration, with many careers and jobs immediately off-limits for convicted offenders.
With this being said, Kendal was arrested on November 27 after any anonymous tip led deputies to a Craigslist ad—with Kendal listing his services as a Santa Claus impersonator. In the ad, Kendal advertises his services as a Santa Claus impersonator for Christmas parties and events, including photographs of him dressed up in the traditional red suit.
In the past, Kendal served jail time and was on probation for a number of years—eventually becoming able to work with children once again. However, he failed to list his "Santa services" to the sex offender registry, which led to his arrest.
Undercover agents contacted Kendal via Craigslist, hiring him for a company picnic in a public park. Before his arrival, investigators cleared the park of children and waited to catch Kendal. Kendal showed up on the scene in full Santa garb and exchanged money with the undercover agents shortly before his arrest. Kendal later admitted that he'd been dressing up as Santa and appearing at events for 33 years.
Kendal faces charges relating to violating the terms of his sex offender registry and his bond was held at $2,000. What do you think about this holiday-inspired crime story? Should former sex offenders be allowed to work with kids? Let us know your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comments section on Facebook.