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Sex Offender Accused of Taking Pictures of Kids Walking to School

A suspicious man snapping pictures of young girls leaving a Traverse City elementary school turned out to be a registered sex offender, police say. Scott Mallwitz was serving a five year probation sentence for having child porn when officers with the Traverse City Police Department arrested him last week. Police say he admitted to taking the pictures for his own “sexual gratification.” There is no indication Mallwitz made contact with any of the children. Police say the first complaint about a suspicious man near Eastern Elementary School was back in late November, but the description was sketchy. “This goes to show we can never really predict what's going on in somebody's mind or what's going to happen or what they're going to do tomorrow,” says Chuck Welch, a field supervisor for area probation officers. Welch also served as Mallwitz's original probation officer when he was sentenced in April of 2008. He says Mallwitz seemed to be heading down the right path. “He was reporting as instructed, working, in compliance with registration requirements, attended counseling, maintained sobriety,” he says. “Everything the judge required him to do it appears he was doing.” Welch calls it “frustrating” when offenders don't use the tools that are offered to help. Mallwitz now faces jail or prison time for a total of three probation violations. 9&10's Ryan Raiche and Photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have the story.