Boro criminal court officer cleared of stalking women

By Nathan Duke

A 43-year-old Queens criminal court officer was cleared last week of charges that he stalked a borough woman, followed her in disguise and approached her on several occasions in Astoria and Woodside last year, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld ruled Friday that Christopher Ofee, who lives in Woodside and previously worked as a court officer at the Kew Gardens courthouse, did not stalk or harass the woman under legal definitions of those charges, the spokeswoman for Queens DA Richard Brown said.

But the judge suggested Ofee, who has been moved to another site within the city’s court system, seek mental health counseling, she said.

Ofee, who worked as a city police officer from 1995-2001 before resigning and has been a court officer for four years, is no longer allowed to carry a weapon, a spokeswoman from the city Court Administration Office said.

He had been arraigned earlier this year on charges of stalking and harassment after he was accused of approaching a Queens woman during six incidents between March 2008 and March 2009.

Prosecutors alleged that in one incident during which he was wearing a cast on his leg he pulled up next to the woman in Woodside and asked her for directions to the Westway Motel on Astoria and then offered her a ride. He was accused of several similar incidents along Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria as well as on Hazen Street and near the Jackson Hole Diner in Woodside.

According to the criminal complaint, he had approached the woman again in March along Ditmars Boulevard. Police pulled the defendant over shortly afterward and noticed that the zipper of his pants was down, the DA said.

Officers allegedly found two black wigs in his car as well as duct tape, prosecutors said.

Ofee had also been accused of harassing another woman in Queens during three incidents between April 2008 and January in Woodside, but he was also acquitted of those charges, the DA’s spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.