The Houston Public Library has apologized to parents after a man who was charged with sexually assaulting a child was allowed to read to children during Drag Queen Storytime last year.
The library acknowledged it did not run a background check on Albert Alfonso Garza, 32, who read to a group of children at the Montrose Library in September 2018.
Garza’s criminal history came to light after ABC13 Eyewitness News learned that Garza was charged with child sex assault in 2008.
According to records obtained by ABC13, Garza’s victim was an 8-year-old boy.
The library said appropriate action has been taken to prevent a similar mistake in the future.
In a statement, the library said every program is supervised by staff, and all children are accompanied by a parent or guardian. No child was left alone with Garza at any time.
“We were made aware today that one participant for Drag Queen Storytime has a criminal background that should have prevented him from participating in the program.
We assure you that this participant will not be involved in any future HPL programs.
“In our review or our process and of this participant, we discovered that we failed to complete a background check as required by our own guidelines. We deeply regret this oversight and the concern this may cause our customers. We realize this is a serious matter.
“Every program sponsored by HPL is supervised by HPL staff, and all children are accompanied by a parent and/or guardian. No participant is ever alone with children, and we have not received any complaints about any inappropriate behavior by participants at storytimes.”