A San Francisco homeless man who camped across the street from a school displaying signs offering free fentanyl for new users and methamphetamine for stolen items is a convicted pedophile, records show.
Joseph Adam Moore, 46, is camped opposite the Stella Maris Academy K-8 Catholic school on Geary Boulevard at Ninth Avenue. Convictions in Santa Cruz in the mid-'90s that are listed on the state’s registry of sex offenders say he was found guilty of forcible unlawful sex in 1997 and committed lewd acts with a child under 14 in 1996.
The Standard visited the encampment on Tuesday, and from under a drab gray dropcloth stretched over several bicycles and a motorcycle, a man came out and identified himself as Moore.
When asked about the signs, Moore said he had put them up a couple of days earlier and added that they had received a charged response.
"People have threatened my life,” Moore said. “They've driven by, told me to take the signs down and [asked] what am I doing in front of a school and a bunch of stuff.”
Peter Marlow, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said that he was aware of Moore’s encampment but hadn’t seen the signs he had posted.
“I noticed this person is well-established there. They disappeared about a month ago, and now they’ve shown up again,” Marlow said. “I had seen him for the past year before he disappeared, but now he’s back. I don’t know about these signs about fentanyl and all of this.”
Marlow expressed concern about Moore’s presence near the school but deferred to the city when asked about moving his tent.
“We don’t want anything of that nature anywhere near our schools, but we want to be able to work with law enforcement to establish the guidelines,” he said. “The school works with law enforcement and city officials to manage unhoused individuals who are perhaps too close to the students. It’s a frequent thing.”
Marlow said the school would be looking into Moore’s claims that he is selling drugs near the school. He said that police had come to the location multiple times.
A San Francisco police spokesperson said they could not find any incident reports for Moore’s campsite location and there was no arrest record for Moore within the last 90 days.
California’s Megan’s Law website lists Moore as a San Francisco transient convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age in 1997 and released in 2002. San Francisco Superior Court documents show Moore has been arrested five times in the city since 2007 for allegedly failing to re-register his address as a sex offender every 30 days.
A Santa Cruz Sentinel article from 1997 reports Moore was convicted of molesting a 12-year-old girl in Santa Clara County before being released from custody and then having sex with a 15-year-old in Santa Cruz behind a set of bathrooms on Seabright Beach.
Moore’s most recent arrest on May 11 also accused him of committing a felony while on bail; The Standard was unable to obtain court records revealing what the felony was or what happened with the case.
Moore claims his child sex offense conviction was due to a bad deal with the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office. (Its spokesperson said Tuesday the office would not provide court records, saying they are exempt from disclosure). Moore said he was 19 and working at Apple at the time and was told that if he pleaded guilty, he would receive a lowered sentence that could be struck from his record if he stayed out of trouble for a year.
“Everything's lies, and there's no bigger lie than the justice system,” said Moore, who also displayed a sign that said police are corrupt.
When asked if he was actually selling drugs, he chuckled and said he was.
“Yeah, this is actually happening,” Moore said, laughing. “But only because I'm tired. I'm tired. If you guys want to flush the whole world down the toilet, if you guys want to ignore people like me, it’s at your own peril. I mean, I'm a savant. You can't f*cking fake that.”
Moore also said that he is the grandson of actor Don DeFore, who is known for his role in the 1950s sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and was a friend of President Ronald Reagan.
A public records search suggested that Moore's mother shares a name with DeFore's daughter. Social media accounts also suggest he is related to DeFore.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office said it does not represent Moore in any active cases and could not comment.
Matthew Kupfer contributed to this report.