BY SARAH BASSIL, STAFF WRITER
Sexual offender Sean Tyree was seen on campus again after harassing students back in August of 2014.
Two years ago, members of the Mason community were informed of a sex offender that was harassing female students on campus and around Fairfax County. The suspect was later identified as Tyree but was never arrested at the time because no crime had been committed to the police’s knowledge.
In the last few weeks, Tyree has been spotted again.
Mason’s Interim Chief of Police Carl Rowan discussed the details of the events, as different accounts conspiring around the possible sexual harassment of students plagued the community.
Rowan said several female students were approached by a middle-aged man on the Fairfax campus outside the Johnson Center and the Recreation and Athletic Center (RAC) Tuesday Nov. 15.
Rowan said the man claimed to be a student at Mason and invited the students to attend a party, emphasizing that there would be alcohol and it would be a good time.
As multiple reports and phone calls were made to the Mason Police Department, Rowan said, an unnamed police officer recognized the man as Sean Tyree. Mason police, working with the Virginia State Police, searched the Johnson Center and surrounding buildings.
Because Tyree was not found on campus, the police raided his house in Burke but did not find him there until the next morning, where he was arrested for violation of his probation and parole, Rowan said.
The Virginia State Police sex offender registry states that Sean James Tyree is a 30 year old man who was convicted of carnal knowledge, or sexual intercourse, of a child 13 to 15 years old Aug. 27, 2010. Tyree was then charged with two violations of the terms of his probation and parole, including failure to register as a violent sex offender in July and August of 2012.
Freshman Selam Belay voiced her concerns about Mason administration’s failure to keep Tyree from showing up on campus again.
“As a female college student, I believe it is the responsibility of my school to keep all students safe by enforcing punishments to the fullest extent possible,” Belay said, adding that although Tyree was arrested and subsequently not allowed on campus, he was seen at Mason by several people.
Sophomore Aiyha Abdelbagi added to the same sentiments of Belay.
“The university’s first priority should be the safety of the students and I believe that was put at risk by this incident of a sexual offender found back on campus, especially considering how common sexual assaults are at GMU,” Abdelbagi said, then added “I understand that there are over 30,000 students attending and with that comes great difficulty tracking everyone.”
Rowan went on to note that Tyree was served with a warrant stating that should he ever trespass on campus again, he will be arrested on the spot. This warrant goes hand in hand with the terms of his parole.