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CA- San Domenico parents swarm sex offender at courthouse

2-9-2009 California:

A convicted sex offender arrested after a dustup at a San Anselmo school appeared in court Monday as a posse of about 50 agitated parents swarmed him at the courthouse.

David James McCampbell, 54, hobbling into court on a walker, attended a brief hearing to set future dates as the investigation continues. When he left the courtroom he was surrounded by parents, many snapping photos with their cell phones and warning him to stay away from their children.

"We appreciate that people are concerned, and nobody wants our children harmed," said his lawyer, Chief Deputy Public Defender Debra Leyva. "But we have to balance that with due process of law, no matter what the crime is. The system has to be fair for everyone."

McCampbell was arrested last Tuesday after an incident at San Domenico School, a private K-12 school on Butterfield Road in Sleepy Hollow, where a man was seen watching girls ride horses in the school's equestrian arena, according to the Sheriff's Office.

By some accounts the man stayed on campus some 45 minutes, even after he was asked to leave. He eventually drove off in a blue Honda Civic, which police stopped on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Fairfax.

The driver was identified as McCampbell, a Santa Clara resident who was convicted of child porn charges in his home county. McCampbell first told police that he was lost, then said he was driving around the area, said Fairfax police Sgt. Chris Morin.

Prosecutors charged McCampbell with a misdemeanor count of being a sex offender on school grounds and disrupting activities. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.

McCampbell, through his lawyer, declined to grant an interview Monday. He is using a walker because of a hip replacement, Leyva said.

McCampbell returns for further hearings on March 6. He is not posted in the state Megan's Law database because the child porn for which he was convicted does not qualify him for listing, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Mitchell. ..Source.. by Gary Klien

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