WYTHEVILLE, Va. — Petco is investigating the circumstances that led to a violent child sex offender playing the role of Santa Claus at store Christmas event, the Roanoke Times reported.
Workers at a Petco in Wytheville, Virginia told the newspaper Leonard Russell Kidd, 37, interacted with children while dressed as Santa on Saturday.
Kidd had been convicted of sexually assaulting a six-year-old child in 2002.
As a result of that conviction, Kidd had been ordered to stay away from children following his release from prison last year, the newspaper reported.
“We are looking into the situation and are committed to taking appropriate action, if necessary, based on what we discover,” Petco spokesman Lisa Stark told the Roanoke Times. “We can confirm that the individual in question is no longer at Petco and we are cooperating with local law enforcement.”
Kidd’s probation officer told the newspaper he was unaware of the Christmas event.