BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Another registered Level 3 sex offender is residing at the Pan Am Shelter in Elmhurst, the Queens Tribune has learned.
After reading our story last week on a sex offender residing at the shelter, a source went to the Division of Criminal Justice Services website and searched the ZIP code for the shelter. There he not only found the name of Dwayne Clark, but he also found that 47 year-old Rodney Moultrie is also listed as residing at 79-00 Queens Blvd. However, unlike with Clark’s address, the DCJS also provides Moultrie’s room number.
The DCJS website states that in 1997, Moultrie immediately and physically overpowered, choked and threatened a woman to have sexual intercourse with him. He was convicted in 2003 for attempted rape of the first degree.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) also went onto the DCJS site and searched 11373. There she found over 15 names listed, all in East Elmhurst with two residing at the Pan Am Shelter, Clark and Moultrie.
“I am doubly angry and doubly offended,” Stavisky told the Queens Tribune. “This man is convicted of a more serious crime.”
Earlier this month, Stavisky sent a letter to Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks, in which U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Corona)signed.
In the letter, she not only mentioned that the Pan Am Shelter is the second largest family shelter in Queens, but that it is less than 600 feet from the 51st Ave. Academy, which holds classes for fourth and fifth graders, and is a block over from I.S. 5.
“In DHS’ fair share analysis, one reason for selecting this site was the many services in the area for families and children,” she wrote.
“To place any sex offender in this shelter would be highly inappropriate, but to place a level-3 child molester at this facility shows extreme neglect and needs to be immediately rectified.”
Stavisky also mentioned several other instances where DHS placed and had to remove sex offenders from Queens’ shelters in the past.
When the Queens Tribune reached out to the Department of Homeless Services, we received the same exact comment as we did when we contacted them last week in regards to Clark.
“We are legally obligated to provide shelter to any New Yorker, regardless of background, who would otherwise be turned out onto the streets. All placements we make are in compliance with state law, and we can confirm that there is no one residing at this location who is in the registry,” DHS Senior Advisor for Communications, Lauren Gray, said.
When Stavisky learned about DHS’ response to the allegations, she was not convinced.
“If a mass murderer came in, would you accept him because he’s homeless?” Stavisky asked. “I know they are claiming that they can’t turn anyone away, but you can’t put a sex offender in a place with children. It’s like sending a five-year-old to a toy store and saying ‘don’t play with the toys’ or taking a kindergartener to a candy store and saying ‘just look, don’t taste’. It absolutely makes no sense.”
Stavisky said she has reached out to the Department of Community Relations and Government Affairs Unit of the DHS, the Human Resources Administration, and even called the Pan Am Shelter herself but none of her questions and concerns have been addressed.
“They [Pan Am Shelter] tried to use the privacy argument on me,” Stavisky said. “Once they [DCJS] list the name and the photograph of an offender, that person loses all of their privacy rights.”
Stavisky said she couldn’t believe that a registered sex offender was residing at the Pan Am Shelter the first time. Now that it has occurred a second time, her goal is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org