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Visiting Stanford Scholar Revealed as Registered Sex Offender

STANFORD (KPIX) -- Stanford University officials confirmed Friday they had no idea a visiting scholar, who has been on campus since the start of the spring semester, is a registered sex offender.

"We became aware through a media report that a visiting scholar was a registered sex offender," said University spokesperson Ernest Miranda in a statement. "We are currently reviewing the facts around this matter."

Stanford's student online publication, The Fountain Hopper, first reported on Thursday that Kurt Mitman had been convicted of sexually assaulting a young boy while Mitman worked at a Pennsylvania summer camp in 2004.

The news stunned Stanford students who believed the university should have better screened Mitman.

"I don't want to see sex offenders on campus," said sophomore Michael Bloomer. "I've seen Stanford drop the ball on sexual assault more than once."

Mitman, who is an economist, has been on campus since March. He is expected to stay until next month.

As a visiting scholar, a spokesperson said he is unpaid and in a non-teaching role.

However, Bloomer believes that Mitman still doesn't belong on campus among them.

"My biggest concern is, are we making campus safer, in general," he said.

Not only does Mitman come up on the state's sex offender registry but a quick internet search shows the controversy surrounding his time at another campus.

In 2007, he was allowed to leave prison 12 hours a day to attend the University of Pennsylvania. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, that university was also unaware of Mitman's conviction. He was suspended for a short time until he reached parole and was later reinstated into the program.

Miranda said that Mitman isn't living on campus. The sex offender registry shows him staying in Palo Alto.

"I can only wonder what kind of failure in the system caused him not to be found out as a registered sex offender," Bloomer said.

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