General Crime

* Mark Christopher Gurries registered sex offender used a letter to gain entry St. Frances Cabrini School, 15325 Woodard Road

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The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a registered sex offender who used a letter to gain entry to a Catholic elementary school during a festival last month, a spokesman said today. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza said the department has a copy of the letter used by Mark Christopher Gurries to attend the event at the St. Frances Cabrini School, 15325 Woodard Road in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County near San Jose.

The department is still trying to determine what it can about the letter, which permitted Gurries, who was not arrested, to enter the private school’s grounds for the festival on Oct. 6, Cardoza said. By state law, Gurries, as a registered sex offender, is only allowed on a school property around children if he can produce written permission from a school administrator, according to Cardoza. “Absent that letter, he would have been arrested then and there,” Cardoza said.

Registered sex offenders who walk onto a school property without authorization when children are present are subject to arrest for a misdemeanor. Bernie Hoye, spokeswoman for the Diocese of San Jose, and Rev. Lieu Vu, head of the St. Frances Cabrini Parish that oversees the school, could not be reached for comment.

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