Jamaica man convicted of sexually abusing women living in a Brooklyn homeless shelter

clyde johnson
Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn DA’s office

A Jamaica man was convicted of making unwanted sexual advances toward women living in a Brooklyn homeless shelter on multiple occasions, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Clyde Johnson, 56, was found guilty of three counts of forcible touching and one count of third-degree sexual abuse. He is due to return to court for sentencing on Dec. 16, where he faces up to two years in prison.

“The victims in this case are among society’s most vulnerable people and it is incumbent upon us that when we welcome them into a New York City shelter they are offered a safe haven and treated with dignity and respect,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Sadly, that did not happen in this case. Today’s verdict is a measure of justice for these women and holds the defendant accountable for his egregious and abusive conduct.”

According to charges, Johnson was a former housing specialist at the city’s Department of Homeless Services. Trial testimony states that on four separate occasions in 2017, Johnson forcibly touched or sexually abused three women who were residents of the Auburn Family Shelter, either in the shelter or near the shelter.

In April 2017, according to testimony, Johnson groped a shelter resident while meeting with her to discuss housing. Two months later in July, Johnson rubbed up against a shelter resident’s buttocks while she was making a purchase at a deli near the shelter, telling her: “This is a stickup.” On a separate occasion, Johnson rubbed up against the same woman while they were riding on the B54 bus.

Finally, in August 2017, Johnson groped another a shelter resident who had come to his office seeking help with her housing situation, according to trial testimony.

“This defendant preyed upon already vulnerable shelter residents, depriving them of the security and confidence they should expect in a City-operated shelter and when coming to a public servant for assistance,” said New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett. “Today, this defendant was held accountable, is now facing jail time, and no longer works for the City of New York. This investigation underscores how sexual abuse and harassment infringe on a person’s most basic rights and feeling of safety. DOI thanks the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in the prosecution of this important investigation.”

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