The Fight to Oust Sex Offenders from Family Homeless Shelters Continues

A new investigation from Senator Jeffrey Klein’s office reveals that multiple Bronx shelters for families are housing registered sex offenders.

Last month, community members expressed outrage over social media after discovering two registered sex offenders were residing at the old Capri-Whitestone Motel, now known as the Crystal Family Residence.

Left: Curtis Bolden Right: James Bryant

Left: Curtis Bolden
Right: James Bryant

Curtis Bolden, a level 3 sex offender and James Bryant, a level 2 offender, both had their primary residence listed at 555 Hutchinson River Parkway. Bolden was convicted in 1980 for raping two women, a 55 year old female and a 71 year old female, while Bryant was convicted in 2004 for aggressive sexual assault of a 7 year old child.

Senator Klein along with Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman James Vacca responded by introducing legislation that would require level 2 and 3 sex offenders to be placed in adult-only shelters.

The Department of Homeless Services moved Bryant out of Crystal Family Residence after January 24th. However, he was placed at the Westway Motel, another family shelter in Queens.

“It is absolutely disgraceful.” said Queens Senator Tony Avella at a press conference yesterday in which Senator Klein revealed his investigation findings. He continued with, “Moving sex offenders from one facility to another is an obvious effort to hide what must be changed. We must put the safety of our children and vulnerable populations first.”

Yesterday’s press conference in Queens was held at Lincoln Atlantic, a family homeless shelter, where another sex offender resides. Standing with Senator Klein and Avella was Senator Leroy Comrie, Senator James Sanders Jr., and Senator Jose Peralta.

On January 26th, Senator Klein’s bill (S.851) to ban sex offenders from homeless shelters for families was passed by the New York State Senate. “The city’s most vulnerable families shouldn’t have to worry that their next door neighbor is a sexual predator. These known sex offenders who have been convicted of preying on children, must be housed elsewhere to protect these families who are trying to get back on their feet. If the city’s Department of Homeless Services refuses to protect these youngsters we will do so through state law.” said Senator Klein.

However, the investigation undertaken by Senator Klein’s office revealed that the problem goes further than the Bronx. Throughout various shelters in the city, four sex offenders (one of them being James Bryant) were found in Queens, three in Brooklyn, and three in the Bronx. Seven of the sex offenders have committed crimes against children ranging from ages 15 years old to as young as 5 years old.

sex offender list

This is not the first investigation that has been done by Senator Klein’s office. In 2007 six sex offenders were found in different family homeless shelters throughout the Bronx and in 2011, eleven sex offenders were found in five different shelters. Another review in 2012 showed that there were nine sex offenders in five different shelters. The report stated that the Department of Homeless Services did not investigate the 2007 findings and they instead, “simply refuted the evidence claiming that four of the six were no longer there.”

Senator Klein’s legislation requires that sex offenders are to be placed in adult-only shelters or shelters without children. This legislation is accompanied by a companion bill (A.3706) that is sponsored by Staten Island Assemblyman, Matt Titone.

Read the full investigative report from Senator Jeff Klein’s office below:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email