Eight sex offenders who were living at the Anchor Inn Motel in Bayside have been removed from the site, according to an official from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
“We all must work together to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into society,” a HPD spokeswoman said. “None of the parolees are currently residing at the hotel. The city is working with the State Department of Corrections (DOCCS) to find these individuals housing.”
The individuals had been vacated from another residence for unsafe conditions, and HPD stepped in to provide relocation services. According to HPD, “The Red Cross has an agreement with the hotel where the individuals were placed temporarily, but they have since left.”
The relocation of the sex offenders comes after state Senator John Liu joined by Assembly members Nily Rozic and Ed Braunstein and Councilmember Paul Vallone on April 4 called for immediate removal of the individuals by the DOCCS at the Anchor Inn Motel, located at 215-34 Northern Blvd.
“Nothing trumps the safety and security for our families, especially the protection of young children, and these individuals must be moved out immediately,” Liu said. “We also demand a clear accounting of how this happened in the first place so it doesn’t get repeated.”
The eight registered sex offenders are listed on the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services sex offender registry. They are men who range in age from 33 to 66. Four of the individuals were said to be level 3, sexually violent offenders.
When QNS had contacted the Anchor Inn Motel for confirmation, a businessman claimed they knew nothing about the men living on the premises.
Parents living within the vicinity of the motel were alerted by Parents for Megan’s Law, a Long Island-based group dedicated to preventing child sex abuse.
They had stressed concerns of their children attending the Learning Experience’s Academy of Early Education, located across the street from the hotel, and illicit activity conducted on the premises late at night.
According to the Department of Criminal Justice, the Sex Offender Registration Act does not restrict where a registered sex offender may live. However, if the offender is under parole or probation supervision, other New York state laws may limit the offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school or other facility caring for children.
In a statement to QNS, a DOCCS spokesman said the men were relocated to the Anchor Inn, which is compliant with the state’s Sexual Assault Reform Act (SARA) restrictions, following the closure of their previous transitional housing by New York City agencies.
The local lawmakers had blasted city officials whose decision-making brought the sex offenders within close proximity of the pre-school and demanded full accountability of the placement in a family-friendly neighborhood.
“It’s always a cause for concern when sex offenders are placed in a community, but it becomes truly alarming when their crimes are particularly heinous and violent,” Vallone said.