Police Say Sex Offender Entered School Without Escort

Police Say Sex Offender Entered School Without Escort

A registered sex offender arrested after police say he entered a Benton elementary school without an escort.
BENTON, AR -- Benton Police have arrested a man convicted of aggravated sexual assault after they say he was caught on an elementary school campus without an escort.

It was the first day of school when it happened.

Many parents walk their children into the classrooms and with the large crowds, detectives  say Robert Warford, a registered sex offender, somehow got by without an escort.

Police didn't go into detail, but say Warford did have a legitimate reason to be at the school.

According to the Saline County Sex Offender Registry, Warford was convicted for the 1996 attack of a 4-year-old girl.

After being released from prison, there's a long list of rules he must follow, including being escorted when he's on a school campus.

This Monday, Benton Police say that didn't happen.

Parent Shannen Adcox said, "I was so shocked, I couldn't believe it because they had all these new securities put into place."

Parents with children at Ringgold Elementary School say it's impossible to get through the front doors without checking in with a school employee first, which makes this incident even more concerning for many.

Adcox said, "So, for him to get in through that security door is kind of confusing for me."

Warford's wife, who didn't want to be identified, says there's no need for confusion.

She says her husband did not get through the door without checking in.

She said, "They let him in and I'm pretty sure from what he said, he went straight in the office and it went on from there."

But according to a news release from Benton Police Department, Warford violated his terms of release by not notifying school staff and requesting an escort.

And after looking through school surveillance video, police arrested Warford two days after the incident.

His wife said, "I don't understand why this had to happen."

The Benton School Superintendent declined an on camera interview but did say every visitor must check in at the front and must show an ID and even get a background check before coming inside.

As far as how Warford got past that point without some red flags, the superintendent only said he wasn't following rules.

Police do not believe Warford went inside the school to hurt anyone, but say they don't know why he didn't request an escort.

Tonight, he's behind bars charged with being a Registered Sex Offender Prohibited from Entering a School Campus.

He's currently being detained at the Saline County Detention Facility. 

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