Boulevard Family Residence, a family shelter in Elmhurst that was formerly the Pan Am Hotel, may have housed a Level 3 sex offender.
Dwayne Clark, 48, is listed in the state Division of Criminal Justice Services sex offender registry with the address 79-00 Queens Blvd., the same address as the family shelter, the Queens Chronicle first reported. A disclaimer reads “the United States Postal Service has indicated this may not be a valid mailing address.”
Clark was convicted in 1995 of first degree sexual abuse after he assaulted two 13-year-old girls and a 10-year-old girl. State records show that he performed “deviate sexual intercourse” and that he “immediately and physically overpowered” the girls.
He was sentenced to 30 months to 5 years in prison but it is not clear how much time he served.
Lauren Gray, the NYC Department of Homeless Services Senior Advisor for Communications, said that no one on the registry currently lives in the Boulevard Family Residence and that DHS has a legal obligation to house all city residents. DHS did not make it clear if Clark previously lived there.
“We are legally obligated to provide shelter to any New Yorker, regardless of background, who would otherwise be turned out onto the streets,” Gray said. “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.”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said if true, the city’s housing of Clark in a family shelter is “absolutely despicable.” The senator added that she has been working for years with the city to improve the conditions at the shelter but that there are “clearly more issues” than previously thought.
“I am absolutely horrified at the possibility of an offender against children living in the same building as hundreds of young girls and boys,” Stavisky said. “How this went unnoticed by the Department of Homeless Services is not only beyond me, but is absolutely unacceptable.”
Stavisky called on the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to immediately remove Clark from the shelter if they have not done so and to overhaul their vetting system.
QNS has reached out to Samaritan Village, the operator of Boulevard Family Residence, and is awaiting comment.