Say Parks Worker Abused Girl In Wdhvn.
Police slapped the cuffs on a Parks Department employee and Woodhaven resident on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 29, who is accused of repeatedly molesting a young relative inside his home several years ago, law enforcement sources said.
He was identified as Rene Herrera, 52, of 86th Street in Woodhaven, a park regional manager responsible for the upkeep of Parks Department property within the confines of Queens Community Boards 5, 6 and 9 with exception to Forest Park.
According to information provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office, Herrera allegedly assaulted a then-11-year-old girl at his residence on three separate occasions between October 2008 and September 2009.
The type of relationship between Herrera and the victim was not disclosed by authorities.
Law enforcement sources said Herrera allegedly first molested the girl in October 2008 by sticking his hand beneath her underwear and touched her inappropriately.
Authorities noted the suspect allegedly fondled the girl in a similar manner in December 2008 and again in September 2009.
Police said an investigation into the incidents was launched last Saturday, Dec. 28, when the mother of the girl filed a police report.
Following an investigation, Herrera was reportedly taken into custody at his home on Sunday morning by Det. Jacqueline Lalli of the NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad and later charged with three counts of course of sexual conduct against a minor.
Court records indicated Herrera was ordered held on $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash following his arraignment Monday afternoon, Dec. 30.
In an email to the Times Newsweekly Monday afternoon, a Parks Department spokesperson stated Herrera has been suspended without pay.
As park regional manager for Boards 5, 6 and 9, Herrera oversaw a staff based at Middle Village’s Juniper Valley Park. In his capacity, he periodically attended community board and civic association meetings around the area and addressed concerns and complaints from the public.