Tag Archives: sexual offenders

New legislation to introduce tougher penalties for subway sexual predators

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas' office

Subway perverts may now think twice before performing their lewd acts after a new law was enacted on Friday to punish offenders who grind up against women and/or masturbate in crowded trains, buses or subways. 

The bill was first introduced in the Assembly on Feb. 10 by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and in the Senate by Senator Marten Golden. Gov. Cuomo signed the bill into law on Sept. 25.

Under current law, offenders who rub up against or ejaculate on another person on a bus, train or subway will be sentenced to 90 days of imprisonment or one year of probation for first offenses. The new bill raises the maximum sentence for first-time offenders to one year of imprisonment or three years of probation.

“I have been riding the subway my entire life and have seen my share of disgusting and objectionable behavior,” Simotas said in a statement. “The law must reflect that these crimes on public transportation are particularly egregious because riders are essentially captives of their attackers.”

According to an analysis reported by the Daily News, from July 2008 through July 2013 the Forest Hills/71st Ave. station had the most flashing incidents during that period with 97 reports, followed by the Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike station with 93 reported incidents.

Just last week, a suspect exposed himself on a Ditmars Boulevard-bound Q train. On Sept. 21, a 27-year-old female riding on the Q train, in the vicinity of 31st Street and 30th Avenue, saw the suspect exposing his penis and engaging in a lewd act, according to cops.

Three days before that incident, a man riding the N train stood behind a 35-year-old victim and rubbed his hand across her buttocks. When the victim confronted him, the suspect grabbed her behind again before fleeing the train at the Broadway and 31st Street station.

“New York has zero tolerance for predators who seek to use crowded buses, subways and trains to commit depraved crimes of opportunity,” Cuomo said. “Those who commit these despicable acts will be caught and, with this new law, will face very real consequences.”

The bill will officially be implemented on Nov. 1.


Lindenwood parents peeved at proximity of alleged pedophiles

| mchan@queenscourier.com

A level 3 sex offender, Jermaine Lee lives in an apartment complex on 153rd Avenue in Howard Beach, which is less than a block away from P.S. 232.

Parents in Lindenwood are up in arms after learning of three sexual offenders living in the area, including one located less than a block away from an elementary school.

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Jermaine Lee lives in an apartment complex on 153rd Avenue in Howard Beach, which is less than a block away from P.S. 232.

He is a level 3 sexual predator — the highest designation of sexual offense — meaning he poses a significant risk of a repeated violations, according to the DCJS. He was convicted on June 24, 1997 for first-degree sexual conduct against a child, when he had sexual intercourse with an eight-year-old female victim, and was sentenced to up to eight years in state prison.

“There are different rules for different levels of sexual offense,” said Kenneth Zorn, Community Affairs Officer for the 106th Precinct. “The gentleman in question was not prohibited from living near a school. We’re well aware of who’s where and if there’s an incident, we’ll look into it.”

According to the DCJS, the Sex Offender Registration Act does not restrict where a registered sex offender may live. However, if the offender is under parole or probation supervision, other New York State laws may prevent the offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school or other facilities caring for children.

“I’m disappointed. It’s too close for comfort,” said Tammy Greco, a Lindenwood mother of a one-year old. “I do understand that they need to live somewhere, and that they want to move on with their lives, but putting them very near a school doesn’t help them move forward in a different direction. It’s like putting an alcoholic in a bar and saying not to drink.”

Greco said she has reached out to multiple elected officials to try and change the law, “so that it’s a little more difficult for these individuals to live close to a school.”

“I know they’ve done their time and they want to do better, but allowing them to live so close to a school is an accident waiting to happen. It’s not good for them and it’s not good for our children,” Greco said.

The area is also home to two other registered sexual offenders — 52-year-old Noel Nieves of Ozone Park and 76-year-old Joseph Zito of Howard Beach.

Nieves was convicted on April 8, 2005 for rape in the third degree of a 16 year old, and was sentenced to probation for 10 years. He served six months in a local jail.

Zito is also a level 2 sex offender and was arrested by the FBI on February 24, 2006 for a non-New York State felony sex offense against a 13-year-old female.

He was sentenced to three years of probation and 70 months in state prison.