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Pedophile may still be stalking SCV kids

Posted: July 17, 2008 1:29 a.m.
Updated: July 17, 2008 5:01 a.m.
He likes little girls.

He likes to watch them at parks, in libraries, at bowling allies - anywhere little girls play.

He likes to photograph them and then post those photos on the Internet.

His name is Jack McClellan, and this summer the self-described pedophile has been in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Police say he's done nothing criminal. But law enforcement officers handling his case say there is one thing parents can do.

"If they see him or they recognize him following a child, or he's seen with camera equipment near children, they can file a child annoyance complaint at the sheriff's station," said one officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The offense is a misdemeanor, but as the officer points out: "At least it's something."

Last month, McClellan came to Santa Clarita in search of little girls. On June 9, according to his posting on the Internet, he scouted youngsters at Santa Clarita Lanes bowling alley on Soledad Canyon Road.

"I've been aware of this guy since about six weeks ago," said Tom Cristi, owner of Santa Clarita Lanes.

"We have his picture on file with our staff. If he has been in here, as he says, we never really remember seeing him.

"My business is primarily kids, so we basically watch everyone," Cristi said. "If someone is in the building and they're not using the facilities, ... we ask them to leave."

When he left the bowling alley on his own, McClellan, 45, crossed the street to Saugus Speedway and joined scores of families roaming the grounds at the San Fernando Valley Fair, according to his Internet posting.

With children darting from ride to ride, eating cotton candy, petting zebras and playing games of chance, McClellan strolled the grounds anonymously. Most likely, parents would not have recognized the man in his characteristic black wide-brim hat.

But they probably would have recognized pictures of their own daughters, photographed by McClellan in public places and posted on his Web site.

That site has been shut down, but when it was up and running, McClellan bragged about the day he visited the Santa Clarita Valley.

"It's really disconcerting to hear this happening in Santa Clarita, where you feel safe," said Trisha Fossa, a Realtor with SCV Home Buyer and mother of three.

But Fossa had nothing but praise for local law enforcement when it comes to dealing with suspicious men.

A couple of months ago, one of her children told her about a suspicious man in a car by the park near her house.

She called the Sheriff's Department.

"I couldn't believe how fast they were here."

Jack McClellan became infamous for his "little girl" preferences in Washington state before he started building a similar reputation in Southern California. For at least three years he lived in Arlington. Wa., about 50 miles from the Canadian border, and ran a Web site showcasing photos of girls, said Rebecca Hover, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff's office in Washington.

That Web site, Seattle Tacoma Everett Girl Love, was shut down by its Internet service provider, she said.

It disappeared from the Internet March 28, but he soon got another site up and running.

McClellan himself started appearing at family events in April, according to an interview with McClellan published in The Herald newspaper of Snohomish County.

"Schools could get a 'no trespassing' order - at least one school did that," Hover said, adding that the school issued the order after McClellan was seen attending a school event."People were upset that we don't have any evidence of a crime but we assured people we are definitely monitoring him."

While more police and community leaders in both states stand up to oppose the self-proclaimed lover of little girls, one man has stepped forward as McClellan's nemesis.

Ron Tebo is a father repulsed by McClellan and his preferences. He's also an accomplished Web designer who has found a way to confront McClellan nose-to-nose on the Internet.

Tebo created the "Anti-Jack" Web site by simply taking the man's name and claiming it as his own with the domain name

So when pedophiles visit the site seeking McClellan's recommendations on where to find girls, they don't find McClellan, lover of little girls, they find Tebo, protector of children.

"That takes a lot away from Jack," Tebo said in a phone interview with The Signal.

"I took it (McClellan's name) and started my campaign, my fight against Jack."

The response to his "Anti-Jack" Web site has been excellent, he says.

"I have over 100 letters from parents telling me how thankful they are that this Web site is up," Tebo said.

"Jack is like an oxymoron," he said.

"He's good in a way because it's waking parents up. And my Web site is making people aware that this man exists in their neighborhood."

The Jack vs. Anti-Jack fight went national recently as both men gave interviews with radio and television talk shows.

Tebo and McClellan are expected to be featured on Inside Edition this week, with talks ongoing for Tebo to appear on an internationally-syndicated daytime TV talk show hosted by a very popular woman.

"My problem with the man is that he thinks it's OK to have consensual sex with little girls between the ages of 3 and 11," Tebo said. "That is my biggest concern," a statement that he has made on several occasions.

"The man is disgusting."

The Signal made several attempts to contact McClellan using a working e-mail, used by Tebo, requesting his side of the story. Those requests went unanswered.

Tebo's Web site gets hundreds of hits a day, he says, while McClellan's most recent Web site remains closed.

However, that doesn't mean that the tug of war in cyberspace is over.

According to Tebo, McClellan told him he no longer lives in his car, has a place to live, and expects to use Social Security money to launch a new Web site soon.

Where is Jack McClellan now?

According to Tebo, McClellan told him he wants to live in a Southern California beach city such as Long Beach or one of the South Bay communities.

Tebo says McClellan also told him that he used an ATM machine inside the Santa Clarita bowling alley, just to prove to doubters that he was actually in this valley.

When McClellan hit Santa Clarita, then bragged about it on his Web site, he sparked a flurry of e-mails throughout Santa Clarita.

Josy Block sent out more than 900 e-mails, alerting 500 to members of a home-schooling network in the Santa Clarita Valley and 400 members of the Valencia Hills Homeowners Association.

"Because we're a very family community, this is important information to get out," she said. "We have a false sense of community here. Even though we're in Santa Clarita, we still have to keep a close eye on our kids."

One of those e-mails made an appearance in the home computer of Sgt. Rick Miler of the local California Highway Patrol office.

"I came in the next day and I told the guys about this man," Miler said, adding that he talked to the rank and file as a father, not a law enforcement officer.

"As far as any special attention goes about this man - no. It was general information about this man at the department," Miler said. "I don't have anything about his car."

And, even if there were information available about his car, there's nothing law enforcement can do. McClellan hasn't broken the law.

To put it in perspective, Miler compared spotting McClellan behind the wheel to spotting a convicted drunken driver at the wheel. Police cannot stop either motorist without probable cause.

So, while parents and police express frustration in dealing with McClellan, they remain resolute about protecting their children and their community.

"It's really frustrating," Block said about McClellan. "There ought to be a law."


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