Police respond to calls about sex offender10/09/08

Oct. 9, 2008

Staff report

A high-risk sex offender living in Williston was recently found on Trinity Baptist School property, according to police. No charges were filed, but the incident came about a month after Maxwell Mutia, 26, was charged in South Burlington with unlawful trespass and petit larceny.

On Sept. 25, Williston police said they were called by Trinity Baptist School after Mutia was found on school property. Mutia said he was “looking for the pastor,” according to police reports. When told the pastor was not there, he left, the report notes. The school found out he was a registered sex offender and asked police to send an officer to the school at dismissal “just to keep an eye out for him,” according to the report.

The Observer reported on Sept. 25 that Mutia’s status as a sex offender had recently been upgraded to “high risk” by the Vermont Department of Corrections.

The South Burlington charges were filed on Aug. 31, according to an affidavit from that town’s police department recently obtained by the Observer.

The affidavit said South Burlington police responded to a call from the Sheraton Hotel on Aug. 31 and, after investigating, determined that Mutia entered a hotel guest’s room while the guest was there and saw Mutia “reach for his wife’s purse.” When the guest confronted Mutia, he responded that “he was looking for ID in the purse to notify them that the room was not locked,” the affidavit states. The guest called hotel security, which took Mutia to the front desk to wait for police, according to the affidavit.

Mutia “offered no valid reason” to police as to why he was in the guest’s room, the affidavit states. He was taken to the South Burlington police station for processing, and en route asked police to “give him a break” and said, “Everyone should get a second chance,” the affidavit states. Police told him he was on probation and “that was his second chance,” the affidavit notes.

A record check showed that Mutia has a “lengthy criminal record in Vermont and is on the Sex Offender Registry,” states the affidavit from his South Burlington arrest.

Mutia was convicted on April 25, 2001 of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, according to the Vermont Sex Offender Registry.  According to Debbie Thibault, district manager for Probation and Parole for Chittenden County, Mutia’s criminal record includes serving two years for the lewd and lascivious conduct charge, which involved a “lewd act on the body of” a 15-year-old girl.

In 2000, Mutia was on probation for being convicted of three previous counts of “touching women inappropriately and without consent,” said Thibault.

He violated his probation in 2003 by “not participating in sex offender treatment while incarcerated,” Thibault said, but noted that he did complete treatment in July 2007. He was released from jail in January 2005, Thibault said.

Mutia is described as Asian, 5 feet 3 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address was on St. George Road near Hurricane Lane. Thibault said concerned parents should “educate children around ways in which they can keep themselves safe from this person or any other stranger.”

The Vermont Sex Offender Registry is online at www.dps.state.vt.us/cjs/s_registry.htm.