Local News

Kiosk stops sex offender from entering Raleigh school

Posted January 12, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— A convicted sex offender was being held Monday evening in the Wake County Jail after he tried to volunteer at a Raleigh high school. School officials credit a security system for stopping him before he could get close to students.

Registered sex offender Marcus Jermaine Johnson, 30, of 1703 Kayla Court in Raleigh, was on the campus Wednesday of Athens Drive High School, police said.

Sex offender tries to volunteer at Raleigh high school Sex offender tries to volunteer at Raleigh high school

Johnson, an alum, wanted to volunteer at the school, Wake County Public School System spokesman Greg Thomas said. When he signed in by entering his name and date of birth, the school's LobbyGuard digital kiosk, however, flagged him as someone who was not supposed to be there.

“There are systems in place to then alert the facility instantly,” Thomas said.

As Johnson waited for his visitor’s badge to print, the kiosk notified school officials that he was a registered sex offender.

"It (LobbyGuard) immediately checks the national sex offender registry, and any red-flag lists that the school has put in place," Thomas said.

Once Johnson's information was identified as a match for a sex offender he was asked to leave the school.

On Friday, Raleigh police charged Johnson with being a sex offender unlawfully on the premises intended for the care of minors, Thomas said.

Johnson's father told WRAL News that his son, a former member of the Athens Drive High wrestling team, wanted to help the team and didn't intend to cause any harm.

LobbyGuard visitor management systems cost around $5,000 and are built by LobbyGuard Solutions LLC, 4700 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. The company has 700 installations across the United States.

"I am glad they (LobbyGuards) are there,” former student Laffenia Griffin said.

Griffin still has siblings at Athens High and said a background check process is needed.

"If he wasn't supposed to be here, he wasn't supposed to be here,” Griffin said.

Johnson was being held in the Wake County Jail under a $75,000 bond.

In 2005, Johnson was convicted of incest with a near relative, which is a second-degree sexual offense, and of statutory rape, in which he was at least 6 years older than the victim, in 1998, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction.

He was given probation for both convictions but served three months for violating his probation from the incest conviction. He was released on Dec. 25.

Johnson also has convictions for common-law robbery, larceny and assault on a policeman.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • really02 Jan 13, 2009

    Why that is a good system.

    But Please WRAL what is a sex offender?

    Is it a person (I should say Male because Women are not included) that actually raped someone? Or does this also mean that someone exposed themselves in the woods while they were peeing?

    The Law say it is the same.

    Nice Witch Hunt WRAL.

    The Law needs to be changed to only includ sexual predertals.

    Not some dumb person doing there bizines in the woods.

  • CSMs Alter Ego Jan 13, 2009

    'I think child molesters should get the death penalty. PERIOD.'

    "No they do not. They did not do a federal crime. You are a piece of work. Think before bringing your comments on the board. Drdataclerk"

    The person simply stated their opinion, hence the term "I think...." I guess those who have been sentenced to death in state court must now have an appeal since you think it has to be federal. You think before you bring your comments on the board.

  • Common Sense Man Jan 13, 2009

    "scary thing is, this story tells future criminals how to bypass this security system, simply present a false name and date of birth and .. ta da.. you get in (so much for the value of THAT security tool)"

    How do you know they let people in without proper ID?

  • oldrebel Jan 13, 2009

    So now child abusers know not to use their "real" name and DOB when entering information inot such things when trying to get next to children. I often wonder why such details are published. Doesn't anyone think it may alert potential child abusers to be more clever when doing these kinds of things?

  • TheAdmiral Jan 13, 2009

    I don't think molesters should get the death penalty, but I do believe that they should be castrated, have a lobotomy, and in addition, they need to stand in the public square, and the families of the victims give them an appropriate punishment.

  • familyfour Jan 13, 2009

    No they do not. They did not do a federal crime. You are a piece of work. Think before bringing your comments on the board.....data

    That is what I choose to **think** (operative word in your quote from my profile). No, it is not the law. Doesn't mean that I have to agree with it.

    You are not in a position to speak about who may or may not comment on anything here at golo.

    C ya

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 13, 2009

    I think child molesters should get the death penalty. PERIOD.

    No they do not. They did not do a federal crime. You are a piece of work. Think before bringing your comments on the board.

  • something2say Jan 13, 2009

    I am glad the school system is doing something ! I hope they continue to find ways to protect our children in the academic setting but I also think every parent has a responsibility to protect their children. Parents must teach their children about what is right and wrong and that as adults we will believe them. The system may not always punish so it is on us to protect our children in our homes, churches and communities.

  • chivegas Jan 13, 2009

    "THAT is what the LobbyGuard system reads. It doesn't compare a typed in name to to the registry. "

    Not according to the article. Re-read it, it says he signed himself in with his DOB.

    FYI- The 2D DataMatrix on the back of an NCDL is encrypted (but it didn't used to be until just a few years ago). Anyone that had a 2D scanner could decode it. I can't believe they are getting $5000 a piece for those kiosks. That's the real story!

  • thought Jan 13, 2009

    I agree tha tparents need to step up- teach you child and stop being lazy and be there with them. I also agree about family members. I know of someone who had that happen- a family member did that. It totally distroyed the kids life. THis was way back when - they did not have all these things and the parents were always with the kids- but just the two times they had to leave the kids with this person- their lives were forever changed. And this person is not on the registry - never turned in- nothing- I don't know if he changed in the past 30 some years - but I doubt it.