GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania -- Parents in western Pennsylvania are demanding answers after learning a registered sex offender was hired to work as the mall Easter Bunny. After three days on the job, his past came to light and Michael Paul Jacobs was fired.
"I can understand, you know, where they're coming from, about them being upset. But what a lot of people need to realize is, you know, I wasn't put in jail for touching little kids," Jacobs said. "My case -- it revolved around having consensual sex when I was a teenager myself, with another teenager."
Jacobs, who is a registered sex offender, said no one at Westmoreland Mall asked for a background check when he applied for the job. Jacobs was twice convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 19 years old.
"They didn't ask for my background on the application that I filled out. It didn't say anything about a criminal background," he said. "Because I'm on Megan's Law, everybody looks at me different, and this is where I have trouble getting a job. And just, I didn't touch no kids or anything like that."
A mall spokesperson said a photography company leased the space in the mall for the Easter photos.
"It is regrettable that one of their local employees failed to follow their stringent background screening procedures," the mall spokesperson said in a statement.