MANKATO — A Texas predatory offender, who has been in trouble more than once since moving to southern Minnesota several years ago, is planning to live in Mankato.
A community notification meeting about 36-year-old Romeo Alba will take place 6 p.m. Thursday at the Verizon Wireless Center reception hall, according to the Mankato Department of Public Safety.
Alba is planning to move into a residence in the 1900 block of South Riverfront Drive.
He is considered a level-three predatory offender by the Minnesota Department of Corrections because of his history of engaging in sexual contact with girls young than age 10.
In 1995, Alba was arrested in Texas for attempting to sexually assault an 8-year-old girl he didn’t know after breaking into her house at night. He was placed on the state’s sex offender registry at that time. He was living in Huntsville, Texas, when he last registered in that state in December 2008. Alba’s status was changed to show he was living in Minnesota in March 2010.
Gaylord police found out Alba was living there in 2009. They learned he was registered as a sex offender in Texas while investigating reports of suspicious activity. Alba was suspected of hanging around younger girls there and in Winthrop. He was arrested and charged with failing to register as a predatory offender when he moved to Minnesota. He was sentenced to a year in prison, which was followed by six months of supervised release, in January 2010.
Shortly after completing that sentence, Alba was arrested in Le Sueur on Aug. 23 for attempting to grab a girl in the city’s downtown mall. A witness told police Alba gave the girl a camera and asked her to take a picture before grabbing her arm. The girl was able to break loose and run away. Alba pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days in jail in November, including the time he had served since his arrest.
On Dec. 19 Alba was arrested in Mankato, again for failing to register as a predatory offender. A police officer was called to a coin-operated laundry on Madison Avenue to investigate a report of a suspicious person. The officer found Alba, who used a Texas residency card to identify himself.
Alba told the officer he was living in the Gaylord area, but authorities there said he had move away at least two months before. Alba then claimed to be staying with a friend in Mankato, but that man said Alba wasn’t living there and was likely homeless.
When the officer and Alba returned to the laundry, Alba pulled several plastic bags full of his belongings out of four commercial-size washers. He was arrested again for failing to register as predatory offender and was sentenced to a year in prison by District Court Judge Bradley Walker. The sentence was a downward departure from sentencing guidelines.
With credit for good time and time served, Alba is scheduled to be released Aug. 20.