ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Children at two local schools got invited to a sex offender's house for his own children's party.
That sex offender is the same man deputies arrested for advertising himself online as a professional Santa Claus without reporting it.
When Robert Kendel used his bagged up Santa suit to hide from the cameras, he only had one thing to say.
"Yeah, learn how to do your stories right. Do your research," he said.
"What was wrong with it? You want to correct something?" a reporter said.
"Yeah, your mother," Kendel said.
But Monday, with cooler heads prevailing, Kendel said he wants his privacy back, if only for his children, who attend schools in Orange County.
Kendel said they don't deserve to suffer for his 1993 child sex conviction, which he called a misunderstanding and blames on a messy divorce -- not on the kind of monstrous behavior one might imagine after hearing a robocall that went out right after his kids handed out their Christmas party invitations.
"Please use discretion if you plan to attend the party as there is a registered sex offender living in the home. Thank you for your time and consideration to this matter," the robocall said.
WFTV legal analyst Belvin Perry Jr. said the school district could have been sued for knowing Kendel is a sex offender and not telling parents.
"What they communicated to the parents was factual," he said. "They did not tell the parents anything that was not factual."
Perry said stopping short of telling parents what to do likely leaves the district in the clear.
"They're not telling them not to attend," he said. "They're just arming them with information for them to make an informed decision."
Cox Media Group