The Houston Public Library has apologized after failing to run a background check on a drag queen and child sex offender who participated in Drag Queen Storytime last year.
Albert Alfonso Garza, a 32-year-old registered sex offender, read a story to children at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library on Sept. 29, a local ABC affiliate reported.
Garza, who participated in the program under the name Tatiana Mala-Niña, was convicted in 2009 and ordered to serve five years of probation for the aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old child, The Houston Chronicle reported.
The Houston Public Library issued a statement Friday admitting that it failed to complete a background check on Garza before he was allowed to participate in Drag Queen Storytime.
“In our review of our process and of this participant, we discovered that we failed to complete a background check as required by our own guidelines,” the library said. “We deeply regret this oversight and the concern this may cause our customers. We realize this is a serious matter.
“Every program sponsored by HPL is supervised by HPL staff, and all children are accompanied by a parent and/or guardian,” the statement continued. “No participant is ever alone with children, and we have not received any complaints about any inappropriate behavior by participants at storytimes.
“We are taking the appropriate action to ensure that the status of every participant in every program throughout our system is verified,” the library said. “We will continue to review our process to ensure that this cannot happen again.”
© Copyright (c) 2019 News World Communications, Inc.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.