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Pervert volunteers at catholic schools

A convicted sex offender, who abused a 12-year-old boy, has been allegedly volunteering at several local catholic schools throughout northeast Queens since 2007, according to State Senator Tony Avella.
The schools in questions are St. Mel’s School and St. Kevin School in Flushing, and St. Luke’s School in Whitestone.
Avella’s office further noted that the offender, Joseph Denice of Whitestone, is a level one sex offender. Level one offenders do not appear in the sex offender directory, according to New York State law.
Denice pleaded guilty to and was convicted of one count of sexual abuse in the second degree and one count of attempted forgery in the second degree, said a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
He was sentenced to six months in prison and five years probation, said Brown. Denice went to prison June 21, 2010 and was released October 15, 2010, according to the Department of Corrections.
Denice was working as an intern in an after school program in public school I.S. 25, where he met the boy and his mother. He convinced them that he worked with the Administration for Children’s Service and had to perform a “body scan” on the child as part of a court order, or else the child might be taken away from his home. Denice engaged in sexual contact with the boy several times, according to the DA complaint.
“He was not an employee of the DOE,” said a Department of Education spokesperson. “He was a volunteer, interning at a Queens school. We have made him ineligible to work for us.”
Denice was initially charged with four counts of sexual abuse in the second degree. Denice had also presented the mother and child with a letter from family court judge Charles Shevlin mandating more “body scans,” read the complaint. No such judge exists.
All three schools declined to comment on the issue, referring inquiries to the Diocese of Brooklyn, which also serves Queens. A spokesperson at St. Mel’s School claimed that Denice had not worked there and said he was never in the building.
In a statement, the Diocese commended the parents who spoke out about the issue and noted that the church “has become keenly aware of the ravages of child sexual abuse.”
The diocese was also troubled at the fact that state law does not currently require all child sex offenders to be known publically.
“The courage of these parents has furthered the safety and security of all children in Flushing and Whitestone,” read the statement from the diocese.
Assemblymember Mike Miller has drafted a bill that would prevent employers from hiring sex offenders and child abusers in positions where they would be in contact with children. Another of his bills would allow local law enforcement to access level one sex offender records.
“This is outrageous. We should not have sex offenders working with our children. This is a matter of common sense,” said Miller.

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