HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – You can spot people selling The Contributor on just about any corner.
Hendersonville Police say one young woman got used to seeing 50-year-old Andrew McGlothen selling papers at the corner of Indian Lake Boulevard and East Main Street.
"Over the course of the last year or so she says that she has given him money because she feels bad for him," said Detective Steve Malach.
Police said McGlothen spotted the woman pull up to the Walgreens near his corner on March 6th. That's when he approached her and asked for a hug.
"She just felt bad for the guy and figured it would just be a quick hug," Malach said. "She tried to pull away. She was unable to and he was pushing his body on her.
Detectives said they later arrested McGlothen at his Nashville apartment and discovered he has an extensive criminal history, including sex crimes against a minor.
"We were able to find that he was actually a sex offender on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry," Malach went on to say.
That's a problem because the corner he sets up on is right across the street from a middle school.
"Get out of town!" said one driver who couldn't believe the news Friday.
"He shouldn't be here with a school with children if that's what he is. He really shouldn't," she added.
The Contributor released the following statement:
The Contributor contracts with currently and formerly homeless individuals who sell a twice-monthly newspaper. Some homeless citizens, as well as citizens who have never experienced homelessness, may have a criminal history. The Contributor promotes positive interactions between its newspaper vendors and their customers and provides vendors a legitimate income opportunity that enables persons of limited financial means to earn a sustainable living.
The Contributor has a code of conduct by which all of its vendors are expected to abide. This includes compliance with all local, state and federal laws and any personal restrictions set by law. Vendors who do not adhere to the code of conduct are subject to dismissal. Vendors are independent contractors who choose their own sales locations. The Contributor does not assign vending locations.
We thank our readers for the support Middle Tennessee has shown vendors of The Contributor, and we encourage customers to purchase from newspaper vendors with properly displayed badges.
The paper calls people selling editions on the street "vendors". They are not newspaper employees, but independent contractors, according to Executive Director Tasha French Lemley.
French Lemley said by phone Friday will not change their policy of not doing background checks on its vendors. She said every vendor must be or have been homeless and agree to their Vendor Code of Conduct before selling The Contributor.
McGlothen faces charges of sexually battery and violating the sex offender registry. He's scheduled to appear in court April 10th.