Former UNT custodian connected with sexual assaults around campus was promoted three times

Former UNT custodian connected with sexual assaults around campus was promoted three times

Former UNT custodian connected with sexual assaults around campus was promoted three times
July 11
00:10 2017

A former UNT custodian connected with a string of sexual assaults off campus was promoted three times during the seven years he worked for the university, according to employment records obtained by the North Texas Daily.

Earl Leroy Thompson Jr., 32,  was arrested June 2 and is currently in the Denton County Jail facing five counts of burglary of habitation with intent to commit a felony. His bond is set at $525,000. The Dallas Police Department is also investigating Thompson in connection with two sexual assaults of prostitutes in Dallas, according to an affidavit.

Thompson was fired after not being at his assigned work station on May 19.

On the same day, the university sent out the following crime alert to faculty, students and staff:

“The University of North Texas has received information from the Denton Police Department regarding an investigation it is conducting into sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults that have occurred off campus in an area northwest of the university.

The suspect is unknown to the victims and the offenses involved entering the victims’ residences. The suspect is described as an unknown race male with a large build.”

Thompson’s termination letter stated:

“You have been counseled previously for not being at your assigned work station. This letter is to inform you that your employment is terminated for leaving you work area without authorization and for failing to perform your responsibilities as a crew leader in the Facilities Maintenance department, including on May 9, 2017.”

According to a Denton police affidavit, an officer was designated to follow him after a woman on May 9 reported a man, who matched Thompson’s description and clothing, acting suspiciously at an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Hickory Street.

The officer watched him leaving his job at UNT and walking around various apartments, the affidavit stated.

When the Denton Police Department began investigating Thompson and found him as a person of interest, he was working at UNT.

“We notified UNT out of concern for the students there,”Denton Police spokesman Shane Kizer said. “We felt the need to alert UNT so they could take appropriate preventative action. UNT took the action they felt necessary to protect their students and faculty.”

At the time of this notification, Thompson was still employed by the university.

UNT has a mandatory criminal history background check on all people who receive an offer of employment. UNT declined to comment on questions concerning Thompson’s criminal background check, or any reasons he may have given regarding his continual absences on the job.  

“The university does not discuss any specifics related to personnel issues,” UNT spokesperson Kelley Reese said in an email.

According to Thompson’s employment application, he wrote ‘no’ under the ‘have you ever pled guilty to a crime’ section.

“[Thompson] will have to register as a sex offender if he gets out,” Kizer said on June 7. “We are going to look at anything that could show a link to him. We are going to take a hard look at burglaries in that area, at sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults that we don’t know the suspect.”

University officials would not comment on Thompson’s employment records, which were obtained by the Daily on June 27 after submitting a request for them under the Texas Public Information Act.

Thompson began working at UNT in May 2010. In the same month, he was promoted to facility worker by UNT Facilities. Three years later, in August 2013, Thompson was given another promotion, “Maintenance Worker 2,” under UNT Custodial Services.

In 2014, he was promoted to crew leader, his last promotion prior to his termination.

According to Thompson’s employment records, his various supervisors biggest complaint over the years were absences and not being at work in time.

“Earl has missed work repeatedly, causing serious challenges for his supervisor ensuring that his assigned area is clean and ready for classes,” according to his 2016 Performance and Agreement Review by his supervisor, which is his most recent review.

Thompson underwent a performance agreement and review annually since 2014, where supervisors graded their staffs in different work-related categories. Thompson’s lowest grades per year were absences and not being at work on time.

UNT did not provide a 2017 Performance Agreement and Review form for Thompson. In the previous years, the forms were issued in April and May.

Thompson’s past supervisors declined to comment for this article.

Thompson does not have any previous criminal records in Denton.

Featured Image: Earl Thompson at the red carpet premiere of “The Union Man.” File

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Julia Contarelli

Julia Contarelli

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