Every parent’s worst nightmare came true at a North Dakota mall when it was revealed that the man playing the Easter Bunny was a convicted sex offender.
Daniel Sanderson, 24, was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender after police received a tip that he was working at the Dakota Square Mall in Minot, North Dakota and posing for pictures with children while playing the Easter Bunny.
Sanderson pleaded guilty in December 2015 to charges of exposing himself to a child. He was court-ordered to register as a sex offender but ignored the order.
Sanderson was sentenced to two years probation and a no-contact order for the charges, according to Fox 9. Police said he violated his probation by working at the mall.
A spokesperson for the Dakota Square Mall’s parent company released a statement, saying that Sanderson was hired through the Cherry Hill Photo Enterprise and that all applicants are “subject to a strict background screening process," KQCD reports.
Mackenzie Feil, a mother who recently brought her 2-month-old daughter to take a photo with the Easter Bunny at Dakota Square Mall, said she was shocked by the news.
“I was furious,” Feil told KQCD. “I’m nauseated, kinda disgusted.”
“I think that Dakota Square should definitely do background checks on Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, whatever they have there,” Feil added. “Hire them themselves, maybe. It’s just scary. I know as a parent I probably won’t ever take m kids back to get pictures with who they have there anymore.”
Sanderson is due back in court on April 28.