1999-05-22 / Front Page

Three Pre-Teens Arrested

Molestation Charges At Boys’ Home
By Joan Ward George


Two 12 year olds and one 11 year old were arrested and booked on felony sodomy charges Sunday after the administration at St. John’s Residence discovered that a 9 year old being temporarily housed at St. John’s was allegedly sexually molested inside the facility.


According to 100 Precinct Executive Officer Captain Cea, two pre-teen boys were taken into custody on Sunday, charged with sodomy and transferred to Queens Correctional Facility for Youth (formerly Spofford). Cea said that police have asked for the youths accused of the sexual molestation of the nine year old to be charged and tried as adults.

It has also been reported that a third pre-teen male resident of St. John’s was subsequently arrested by the New York City Police Department Special Victims Unit and was also charged with felony sodomy in the same case. He reportedly had been in the hospital when the other two youths were arrested. He has also been transferred to the Queens Correctional Facility for Youth. The three youths were to appear in court on Wednesday, May 19 for arraignment of the charges.

The alleged victim was taken to Peninsula Hospital and released and eventually transferred to another ACS facility in the Bronx .

In a prepared statement to the press the administration of St. John’s Residence For boys made the following statement:

"St. John’s Residence is aware of an incident among our younger residents that occurred on Sunday, May 2, 1999. Once our staff detected the incident, St. John’s followed all established procedures for actions to be taken in the case of alleged abuse. The incident was reported to the NYPD and an immediate medical assessment was arranged for the complainant. After being cleared by a local hospital, the boy was returned to St. John’s only after the alleged offenders were arrested and removed by police. On May 11, 1999, the boys were moved to another facility by the NYC Administration for children’s Services, the agency responsible for such transfers."

The nine year old victim was removed from his Rockaway home and the care of his mother in early May by the New York city Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). According to St. John’s Community Council President Robert Curran, the child reportedly had been placed temporarily at St. John’s residence for intake and assessment before being transferred out for foster care.

The child’s mother had a June 19 family court date to try to reestablish custody of her son. Katherine Murray, the victims mother’s attorney, contacted The Wave early Monday morning. She said that the court date had been moved up to Wednesday, May 19 and that the mother was confident that ACS’s case was faulty and that she would regain custody of her son. Murray said that the mother was shocked and saddened over what happened to her son while in residence at St. John’s.

St. John’s administration and members of the community advisory council credited the staff of the facility with quick detection of the problem and appropriate follow up with police and ACS.

The names of the three accused youths as well as the alleged victim have not been publicly released due their ages.


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