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Sex offender arrested on Notre Dame campus identified

| Thursday, January 30, 2020

The “serious sex offender” arrested Friday on campus was identified as 70-year-old James Renick, Jessica McBrier, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office’s director of media relations confirmed in an email.

“The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has charged James F Renick, 70, with Unlawful Entry by a Serious Sex Offender, a Level 6 Felony, in connection with a January 24, 2020 arrest on the University of Notre Dame’s Campus (Rolf’s Aquatic Center).” McBrier said. “Charges were filed on January 27, 2020.”

In the email, McBrier said Renick’s first bail hearing was on Monday. He was arraigned the same day. His bail was set at $2,000 cash, or $20,000 surety. He remains in custody at the county jail. If convicted, “the sentencing range for a Level 6 Felony is ½ to 2 ½ years,” McBrier said.

According to a court document obtained by The Observer, two Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) officers responded to a call last Friday after receiving “a report of suspicious individual taking pictures of participants in swim meet” at Notre Dame’s Rolfs Aquatic Center. The officers approached the individual—Renick—and questioned him.

In response to a question as to why he was taking photos, Renick—who told officers he had driven to Notre Dame from Beach Grove, Indiana, near Indianapolis—responded that he “liked to take pictures,” according to the court documents. When asked if he had ever been arrested, the accused mentioned a previous arrest in Ohio. Officers then called dispatch and confirmed that Renick was a sex offender and listed on Indiana’s sex offender registry.

“Renick had been convicted in Pennsylvania of multiple counts of sexual abuse of children, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of a child,” the court document said.

Renick will have his first hearing before a judge on Feb. 4 at 9:00 a.m., McBrier said.

The alleged incident originally appeared on Tuesday’s NDPD crime log, where it was listed as having occurred between midnight and 6:20 p.m. Friday. The offense was listed as a “sex crime/unlawful entry of school property by a serious sex offender.”

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