Child Sex Offender Advertised Himself as For-Hire Santa: Deputies

Registered child sex offender Robert Bruce Kendel allegedly advertised himself on Craigslist as a professional Santa seeking employment. Kendel—who was convicted of sexual battery of a victim under 12 in July 1993—was hired to dress up as Santa Claus to attend Christmas parties and events in Orange County, Florida, deputies said. According to authorities, he posted three photographs of himself dressed up as Santa Claus in the online ad—and in one of them, Kendel had a child sitting on his lap. Authorities conducted a sting operation to catch Kendel, setting him up to attend a fictitious office Christmas party. When Kendel was approached by authorities, he told them he didn’t know he had to report his employment or register the email address he’d been using. He faces a charge of failure to report or re-register as a sexual offender.