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City won’t admit it put predator in shelter next to schools

Big mistake: The city moved a convicted child molester into this 38th Street shelter that is fewer than 1,000 feet from three area schools — which defied the predator's residency restriction — and now officials are refusing to admit they messed up.
Brooklyn Paper
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The city is refusing to admit that it placed a convicted child molester in a homeless shelter near three public schools in defiance of a judge’s orders — even though state records and local leaders confirm the predator was there and has since been moved.

The Department of Homeless Services placed Daunte Gonzales — who was found guilty in 2015 of having sex with a 9-year-old girl — in a 38th Street homeless shelter around the corner from PS 24, PS 371, and IS 136 for 10 days in November — before it discovered that he was legally barred from living fewer than 1,000 feet from schools, according to Community Board 7 district manger Jeremy Laufer, who said that both local police and Department of Homeless Services assistant commissioner Matthew Borden confirmed the residency and timeline.

But a spokeswoman for the agency is refusing to admit that Gonzales ever lived there — despite mounting evidence otherwise.

“It is our policy to place individuals with residency restrictions in shelter placements that comply with the terms of these restrictio­ns,” said rep Lauren Gray.

Officials with the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, which tracks predators for the state’s sex-offender registry, confirmed he was living at the Sunset Park shelter in early November and has since moved to Manhattan.

Presented with this information, Homeless Services rep Gray still refused to say whether Gonzales was at the shelter, claiming that doing so was a breach of confidentiality, despite the fact that the sex-offender registry is designed to publicize where convicted pervs live.

The city’s oversight is unacceptable, Laufer said.

“I find it very disturbing that he was able to stay there,” he said. “Fortunately he is no longer there and moving forward we need to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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