Serial college campus sex offender to be released soon

FRESNO, Calif.

Tafoya stood in court without saying a word. The 49-year-old serial sex offender spoke through his attorney, though, choosing not to submit to a treatment program to possibly reduce his punishment.

"I therefore find the defendant would not be a suitable candidate for probation," said Fresno Superior Court judge Brant Bramer. "I find that he would pose a significant risk if he was placed on probation without proper supervision."

Tafoya has been arrested for sexual crimes on college campuses from Texas to California at least ten times. He's never stayed in jail longer than three years.

On this latest sexual battery case from October, the judge sentenced him to the maximum, but that's only six months, and he'll be out after three. And yet this time, there's at least some hope he'll change his ways.

"He wants to get his life fixed," said Dave Wolrath, who volunteers for Northwest Church. "He does not want to just get out of jail and go out and reoffend again."

Wolrath has mentored Tafoya in Bible studies for the last 18 months. He says alcohol and sex addiction are powerful forces in Tafoya's life, but the repeat offender is ready to address them. Even though he refused treatment as a condition of probation, Wolrath says Tafoya has pledged to enter a program to treat both problems as soon as he's released from jail.

"I believe there's definitely hope for Fidel Tafoya," Wolrath said. "He's had some serious problems. He admits it. And you're right, we don't want him back on the streets again if he doesn't stop doing what he's doing."

Tafoya now has 15 convictions for sex-related crimes since 1998. His latest crime came just five months after his last sentence -- for the same crime -- came to an end.

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