Friday, February 02, 2007

US sex offender 'posed as pupil'

US sex offender 'posed as pupil'

A 29-year-old convicted sex offender has spent four months at a US school after successfully posing as a 12-year-old boy, officials say.

They say Neil Rodreick shaved his body hair, covered his stubble with make-up and took a new name to attend Imagine Charter School in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 173cm (5ft 6in) man was eventually expelled for poor attendance in 2006.

He was arrested after trying to enrol at another school. He has since been charged with forgery and fraud.

Mr Rodreick spent seven years in jail after being convicted of lewdly propositioning a six-year-old boy in 1996.


Mr Rodreick adopted the name Casey Price to attend Imagine Charter School, investigators say.

We are just shocked
Mindy Newlin, pupil's parent

They say he blended well with the other pupils, many of whom were actually taller and bigger than him.

He attended classes and always handed in his homework on time.

"He absolutely looked age-appropriate," school spokeswoman Rhonda Cagle told the New York Times newspaper.

"By all accounts from the teachers, he was fairly quiet and withdrawn," she said.

Mindy Newlin, parent of one of the pupils at the school, said: "We are just shocked."

Mr Rodreick even convinced two men who had been looking for boys on the internet to pretend to be his relatives.

He was caught earlier in January, after teachers at another school in Arizona - where had gone for a day - became suspicious.

In all, Mr Rodreick spent nearly two years disguised as a boy.