Rio Rancho schools bus stop moved

Posted at: 01/13/2013 10:44 PM
Updated at: 01/14/2013 8:04 AM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Rio Rancho School officials said they didn't know they were planning to have students  wait for their school bus close to a convicted child predator.

After KOB Eyewitness News 4 pressed for answers,  the district called parents Sunday night and changed plans for Monday morning.

"The bus stop used to be on Pinon Meadows, which is a street over, and then they moved it over to here," one concerned parent said.

This mother doesn't want to show her face, but isn't afraid to speak out about an ongoing problem. She fears for her kids safety because of who is living nearby.

"We're on Pagosa Meadows this was going to be the new bus stop for children in this neighborhood, but just around the corner here about 150 feet away is the address of a registered sex offender," she said.

The school district claims it uses the state's sex offender registry when looking for bus stops. The district has said it makes sure bus stops are at least 500 feet from offenders homes.

Raul Pena, 48, lists this address nearby on Deming Meadows as his home on the registry. Online court records show Pena was convicted of sexual abuse of a child and pleaded no contest to murder in 1989.

"If it was a minor - 13 - that's the age group of these kids," she said. "I'm not saying he's going to re-offend, but why give him the temptation? Why put it there?"

John Francis with the district transportation said Pena's address didn't pop up when they looked at this location for the bus stop. Francis called the incident a glitch that doesn't normally happen.

"It's alarming to say that there was a glitch in the system and it took me calling you and calling them to say 'Look into this,'" the concerned mother said.

The district told KOB Eyewitness News 4 it was calling parents to tell them to take their kids to the old stop. However, if they do show up at the other stop, a transportation worker will be there to get them on their way safely.