Sexual attacker at Fresno State is repeat offender

FRESNO, Calif.

/*Fidel Tafoya*/, 48, was arrested Sunday after a female student accused him of touching her inappropriately in the library. This is not Tafoya's first arrest on similar charges. In fact, he's not even supposed to be on any college campus.

Tafoya was still in jail Wednesday night on a parole hold, but he's been released from the jail on similar holds twice this year -- including once in April after he was caught somewhere he wasn't supposed to be -- again, on the Fresno State campus.

Tafoya had very little to say Wednesday as a judge sentenced him to probation for a 2011 crime, the latest conviction on a long rap sheet. Tafoya is a repeat sex offender who had a warrant out for his arrest for cutting off his GPS monitor just a week ago.

"This is something he's very much conditioned to doing," said forensic psychiatrist Dr. Eric Hickey of Alliant University.

Hickey says Tafoya has a sexual disorder that he's acted on for most of his adult life. Tafoya's faced five felony cases since 1998, three of a sexual nature. Add in ten misdemeanor cases of a sexual nature, dating back more than twenty years and, Hickey says, you have a serial predator whose number one target is college campuses. He's been arrested at Fresno State and other schools at least nine times, including once at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

"He has a fantasy," Dr. Hickey said. "He has a sexual attraction to a certain age group of women and children -- young, pretty girls -- and he knows they're in abundance on campuses. He knows they're easily accessible and the most important thing is, he knows they will be distracted."

Tafoya has never escalated his crimes to assault -- from his usual inappropriate touching or battery. Hickey says that means he may never commit a violent crime like rape, but there's still a good chance he'll continue this pattern of behavior, claiming many more victims.

"Will he re-offend again? Absolutely," Hickey said. "And he's maybe in his late forties, early fifties. He's going to do this for another 25-30 years."

Despite his repeated convictions, Tafoya has never served more than three years in prison for his crimes. Parole officers tell Action News he's violated his parole three times this year, and he should've been back in prison instead of on campus Sunday, but they couldn't keep him because of AB-109.

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