Sex Offender Worked At Steuben Teen Cafe And No One Was The Wiser

By Jeff Neumeyer

August 28, 2012 Updated Aug 28, 2012 at 5:48 PM EDT

ANGOLA, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A man classified as a sexually violent predator is jailed in Steuben County.

It caused uproar in the city of Angola, because he worked four years in a church-operated coffee house for teens, and nobody knew about his history of child sex crimes.

43-year old Adam Garza was arraigned Monday on a felony charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

He's being held on $5,000 bond, after Michigan State Police contacted Steuben County authorities last week to let them know an absconded sex offender was living in their county.

Garza worked for years as a cook at Cahoots Coffee Cafe, a church-sponsored hang out for teens in the community.

Cahoots management says Garza neglected to disclose his criminal history on a background check.

He was fired as soon as they learned about the trouble, and they say Garza would have never been hired in the first place, if he were straight about the sex crimes.

Garza stayed in Mason House of Hope, a men's transitional living center.

Other residents there say, because of Garza's legal problems, six tenants in total have been told they will have to leave by five p.m. Wednesday.

" When I come home from work tomorrow, I may be locked out, I don't know. We have innocent people that are being more or less passed judgment on, because of another man's action," said Bobby Lockhart, who says Garza seemed like a nice guy.

But Lockhart also believes Garza’s employer dropped the ball by not doing a more thorough background check to catch three different sex-related offenses in Michigan between 1997 and 2005.

We could not independently confirm Lockhart’s claims of pending evictions.

There is no evidence that any teens were sexually harassed or abused at the Cahoots Coffee Café.

Court records showed Garza was arrested in LaGrange County in 2007 for drunk driving, but that case never caused authorities to take note of the fact that he was a sex registry violator.




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