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Columbia man charged with exposing himself at middle school

Columbia police arrested a man after exposing himself to middle school students Monday.

Roger Paris, 25, of Columbia is charged with felony sexual misconduct and trespassing.

Just before 3:00 p.m. Monday, Columbia Public Schools reported a suspicious person at Blue Ridge Elementary School, Columbia police said. School security confronted a man who was seen near the school’s playground and the man walked away.

Then around 3:30 p.m., the same man went inside Oakland Middle School as school was dismissing, police said. The man went into a school bathroom for several minutes and then left the building. Video surveillance showed no students walked in or out of the bathroom while he was inside.

Paris got into the school through an unlocked side door, Michelle Baumstark with Columbia Public Schools said.

“It was after dismissal time, so a number of our doors are open so that people can come and go from the building cause it’s typically adults that are in the building at this point in time during the day,” Baumstark said. “And so just like a parent would enter after school hours, that’s what this individual did.”

Two students participating in after school sports outside saw the man in the parking lot. One student saw the man begin to drop his pants, and another saw the man drop his pants and expose himself, police said.

A school coach also saw Paris sitting on a bench with his hands down his pants and moved students to a different location, according to court documents.

Around 7:30 p.m., officers saw Paris near Tenth and Broadway and arrested him.

CPS is now looking at safety procedures for after-school activities, Baumstark said.

“One of the questions will be should we change our procedure for after-school activities?” Baumstark said. “Should everybody be required to go through one door? We don’t know the answer to that question yet. Those are some conversations we have to have with each individual, event and activity.”

ABC 17 News talked to several school parents at Oakland Middle School Tuesday. One grandparent said she witnessed something similar at the school a week and a half ago.

“We were waiting out here for my grandson and a gentleman walked off the school grounds, stood right on the sidewalk and just dropped his pants,” Michele Harms said.

Harms said the man she saw was about 6 feet tall, medium to heavy build, dark complexion and in his late 20s, a similar description of Paris.

“I never heard anything about it,” Harms said. “So I was just wondering if it was the same person.”

Harms said she did not report the previous incident to school officials or police. And CPS has not received a report of a previous incident from other parents, Baumstark said.

Paris is currently being held in the Boone County Jail on a $30,000 bond. He is set to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

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