Fair worker who is registered sex offender arrested in Washington

Fair worker who is registered sex offender arrested in Washington »Play Video

SOUTH BEND, Wash. – Another fair worker has been arrested, this one a registered sex offender set to work at the Pacific County Fair in Washington.

KATU’s On Your Side Investigators discovered last month that fairs aren't legally required to do background checks in Washington and Oregon.

The Pacific County Fair has dealt with a situation like this before.

A convicted child rapist was found working at the fair in 2012. This latest case is different, but one of the factors they have in common is that the company that runs the rides at the fair doesn't do background checks.

On Tuesday, deputies say 38-year-old Jason Miner reported to the Pacific County Sheriff's Office to register as a sex offender. He was in town to work for Haworth Family Shows, the company that operates rides at the fair.

Deputies say Miner was arrested on a warrant out of Yakima County, where he's accused of failing to register.

Pacific County Commissioner Steve Rogers says Miner never wound up working at the fair, which started today.

When asked if background checks should be required, Rogers said, “I'd like to have everyone background checked. It's just not practical, and so we will take care of the people we know directly and we'll do what we can and monitor everyone else."

Rogers says workers directly employed by the fair are checked, but checking employees of the ride company is too expensive.

He also says it's hard to find a ride company that will run background checks, though KATU has talked with two that do so at other fairs.

Miner was convicted of statutory rape 11 years ago.

The president of Haworth Family Shows says it runs rides at more than a dozen fairs and festivals throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and he says they don't background check workers at any of their events.