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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2010

IN THE WAKE OF SHOCKING REPORTS OF A SEX OFFENDER WORKING AS SUPER IN UWS BUILDINGS SCHUMER UNVEILS NEW NATIONWIDE LEGISLATION TO PREVENT CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS FROM WORKING AS SUPERS IN APARTMENT COMPLEXES IN NY AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY


Reports Emerged that An Upper West Side Super Who Had Previously Been Convicted of Level-3 Child Rape Held Keys to More than 50 Apartments

Schumer's Legislation Would Stop Sex Offenders, Who Often Cross State Lines to Avoid Detection from Holding Keys and Gaining Access to Tenants Apartments

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled new legislation that would prevent a convicted sex offender from becoming a superintendent or manager in any multi-family apartment building in New York and across the country. Schumer’s legislation will be modeled after new legislation authored by Assemblyman Micah Kellner. Schumer’s legislation would ensure that no sex offender could possess the key(s) to the residence of an owner/lessor of a residence—unless the sex offender has disclosed his/her conviction to the owner/lessor and has obtained the signed consent of the owner/lessor to possess such key(s). Schumer’s legislation comes on the heels of news reports that a convicted child rapist had used his position as an Upper West Side building superintendent to pressure tenants into having sex with him.

 

“A convicted sex offender should not be able to become a super or building manager in any multi-family apartment building in New York City, period,” Schumer said. “The fact that these sex offenders have access to apartments where there are children present is beyond scary and we must take immediate action to stop it. My hope is that my new legislation closes this huge loophole which allows sex offenders to have easy access to the homes of innocent New Yorkers.”

 

"Building workers know our comings and goings, our children's names--and most importantly, when they knock on our door, we open it, because they have our trust. No one should have to worry that on the other side of that door is a dangerous sex offender who literally has the keys to your apartment. We have banned sex offenders from other professions to protect the greater good, and building workers should be added to that list.  It's our responsibility to close this loophole and to make sure that no one else is put in harm's way," said Kellner.

 

Schumer’s legislation comes following allegations that a convicted child rapist had used his job as an Upper West Side building superintendent to pressure tenants into having sex with him.  The super had served over 10 years in jail for sexually assaulting, raping, and sodomizing girls as young as five years old. After he was released, the man found employment as a superintendent and offered to help pay female tenants’ rent if they agreed to engage in sexual acts with him. New York State Assemblyman Micah Kellner (D-Upper East Side) has proposed state-level legislation that would prevent high-risk offenders from working as superintendents.

 

Schumer’s legislation would ensure that landlords, property managers, and property maintenance companies will be held liable and subject to substantial fines if they provide the keys to the residence of an owner or lessor to a sex offender without disclosing the conviction(s) of the offender and attaining signed approval from the owner or lessor.  In addition, no individual sex offender acting, or purporting to act, in a property management or maintenance capacity, may possess the key(s) to the residence of an owner/lessor of a residence—unless the sex offender has disclosed such conviction to the owner/lessor and has obtained the signed consent of the owner/lessor to posses such key(s).

 

Schumer added, “When it comes to the safety of New Yorkers, we cannot cut corners - it’s time to get the keys out of the hands of sex offenders.”

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