A volunteer monster at a Wisconsin haunted house was revealed to be a child sex offender when an alert father recognized his face.
Andy Hawthorne, 36, of West Bend, Wisconsin, began working as a volunteer at the Hartford Jaycees' Dwelling of Despair attraction in Slinger, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. During a normal day of work, Hawthorne would jump out from behind a wall and scare young children.
One time when he did this, he quickly removed his mask to try to calm the children, and their father — an off-duty police officer — recognized him as a registered sex offender.
The father reported Hawthorne to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which contacted Slinger police to inform them that he was prohibited from working or volunteering around children younger than 16.
Hawthorne later admitted to volunteering at the haunted house to fulfill a 25-hour community service requirement. He denied receiving any notice of being prohibited from working with children.
He was charged Oct. 28 with two counts of being a child sex offender working with children and one count of sex offender registry violation.
Hawthorne’s sex offender status stems from a 2002 incident in which he was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child.