Sex Offender Found Working Near Children At Church

| March 26, 2010

COCOA, Fla. — Registered sex offender, David Kolker, 54, volunteered at First Methodist Church in Cocoa, working within 10 feet of the children's playground.

Kolker was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts and indecent assault upon a child under 16. He is aware that it's illegal for him to live or work near a church, school or day care.

He was arrested Thursday after it was discovered that he was working so close to children.

Police said Kolker did used a bathroom available to children at the church.

He had no supervision when police arrived at the church on Thursday, officers said.

Police said he was volunteering at the church. The senior pastor answered both "yes" and "no" when asked if Kolker had permission to volunteer there.

"He never got any permission, never was allowed to," said the Rev. Gene Yotka. "He was volunteering here from what I know. He was helping with the food pantry."

"Was he doing that without permission or with permission?" asked WESH 2's Dan Billow.

"I believe so. Not with my permission. Not with permission from anyone who could give permission, anyway," Yotka answered.

But someone knew about it and reported to police that a sex offender on probation wearing an ankle monitor was working at the church.

"He had no permission from us whatsoever," Yotka said. "Like I said, I wasn't here. He may have been helping with the food pantry. We have a lot of neighborhood people that help with the food pantry."

When a probation officer noticed and confronted Kolker, he told the officer he was working in a separate building at the church, nowhere near the children and would be constantly supervised by church employees.

Once police were finally tipped off, they found Kolker there — with no supervision.

"Anyone on staff that was aware of it would be not with us anymore, so there's nobody that I know of that was aware of it," Yotka said. "He had no permission from us whatsoever."

Kolker is in jail on charges of suspicion of violating the county's sex offender ordinance.

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Category: Church Security

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