OH, dear.

Why is this not surprising?

Scott Lively, the controversial, anti-gay pastor and operator of the Holy Grounds Coffee House on State Street, said Thursday that he did not know that his volunteer manager is a convicted sex offender.

The manager, Michael J. Frediani, 38, of 453 State St., located above the coffee house, was arrested Thursday morning by Springfield police at his apartment for failing to register as a Level 2 sex offender in this city.

Frediani, who went by the alias of Michael Free, was imprisoned in New York from 1996 to 1999, for sexual abuse in the first degree involving an 11-year-old girl, according to New York state criminal records.

“I was not aware that he is a sex offender or that he was arrested,” Lively said. “This is the first I heard of it.”

“I’ve only known him a few months,” Lively said. “He strikes me as a vey kind and gentle and honorable man.”

Yes, well, Scott Lively isn’t a very good judge of character, or much of anything else.

Joe points out that this isn’t the first time in the past few weeks Lively’s coffeehouse has gotten itself in trouble:

Last week Lively’s coffeehouse was raided by public school truant officers, who accused Lively of allowing students to ditch school there. According to my tipster, students were offered free coffee and hot chocolate in return for wearing one of Lively’s Jesus pins.

Nice. Free coffee and hot chocolate for kids served up by a child molester in an establishment owned by an anti-gay hate group leader.

Parents in Springfield: Teach your children to run, not walk, past the Holy Grounds Coffee House. Stranger danger!