Sex Offender Registration Tip (SORT) Program Successes

Social Networking - PFML staff received a helpline tip stating that a sex offender was pursuing her with unwanted sexual advances using a social networking site "plenty of fish". With the coordination of local police and the division of parole, the offender was identified and his violations confirmed. He was subsequently arrested and incarcerated in a State Correctional Facility.

Absconder - It was reported to our hotline that a registered sex offender had moved out of state and failed to notify authorities as required by law. Local sheriffs were notified and an investigation was opened. The subject’s failure to register was confirmed and a warrant for his arrest issued. United States Marshals and local authorities are actively pursuing this individual.

Contact with Children - A SORT tip was received alleging that a registered sex offender was spending time with a woman and her children. It was additionally alleged that this offender was around children at a homeless ministry. Investigation revealed the subject was on probation and may be in violation. Contact with the department of probation was made and this agency was ensured that an appropriate investigation would follow. Follow-up contact with authorities revealed that the offender was violated and sentenced to 4 years state prison.

State Registry Error - An alert tipster notified PFML staff of a state registry error concerning the improper address of a known sex offender. It appeared that the subject was registered as residing on Royal Street when in fact he lived on Royle Street. This seemingly insignificant spelling error is often enough to confuse computer mapping software and inaccurately place offenders miles away from their true locations. In this case the state was notified, the correction effected, and the community properly notified.

Probation Violation - PFML staff analysts received multiple complaints concerning a sex offender violating his probation by consuming alcohol and placing himself in the company of children. Probation officials were notified and an investigation ensued. Although the offender was not violated, his probation was modified to include a strict alcohol treatment monitoring program and increased supervision.

Falsely Registered - A concerned caller notified PFML staff that a registered sex offender had registered falsely in that he was not residing where he was registered and that his true address placed him very close to a middle school. The information and proximity to the school was verified and state police notified. The subject has subsequently been relocated.

Smart Phone - Information was received identifying a probationary sex offender whom was in the possession of, and operating, a "smart phone". Owning and operating this device is akin to using a computer and considered a violation of probation. A search warrant was executed on the offender’s home. Evidence was secured and the subject arrested. He is now being housed in the Department of Corrections.

Position of Trust - PFML analysts received a SORT tip alleging a sex offender had falsely registered his address and that his true address placed him living at, and working with, an adolescent children’s shelter. Contact with probations department had confirmed this complaint. The subject was arrested and jailed. His employment at this facility terminated.

Child porn removed from a renowned Internet classified site.  Based on information received from a helpline tipster, child pornography was removed from a major online trading/retail site. An anonymous tip led SORT analysts to track down and expose an alleged online child pornography listing. As a result of this tip, and in collaboration with network security, the child pornography was removed by the internet provider.

Helpline tip puts motel on notice.   A helpline caller reports that a registered sex offender was currently residing at a local motel and that motel management had failed to post required notice. SORT analysts verified the offender's status and residency at the motel. Further review confirmed that local law requires hotel/motel management to place a visual notification in their front lobby if a sex offender is residing within. Local authorities were alerted of the situation. As a result of this collaboration, the offender was issued a summons in violation of law in that he failed to notify the motel of his status. The motel management was placed on notice.

Helpline led to fundraisers removal.   A helpline tip alerted SORT analysts that a disgraced pediatrician, whose license to practice was revoked, is now associated with a nationally known not-for-profit. His new volunteer placement put him in a position where he performed fundraising for the society's youth camp. Concerned the doctor was misrepresenting himself and that children were exposed to a possible risk, PFML staff alerted the not-for-profit. As a result of these efforts the doctor was prohibited from involvement with this organization.

Helpline tip removes sexual offender from Facebook.   A helpline tip alleged that a registered sex offender was utilizing a social networking site under a concealed identity. SORT analysts, in collaboration with network security, identified the individual and removed his access to the site.

Karate instructor gets the boot.  An anonymous tip alleged that a sex offender, convicted of child sexual abuse, was now employed as a karate instructor at a nearby center. It was further alleged that he was instructing children as young as 3 years old. SORT analysts confirmed his employment and the offender's registration status. Once confirmed, PFML staff collaborated with local news agencies and informed the community. As a result of this tip, the community was alerted and the instructor's association to the school terminated.

Helpline Tip lands stiff sentence for disgraced teacher.  A Helpline tipster identified a convicted sex offender and middle school math teacher, whose license to teach had been surrendered for distributing sexually explicit messages to his underage students, was now attempting to land a tutoring position within a professional based in-home tutoring company. Thanks to this tip and subsequent investigation, not only did this offender not land the job, but his probation was revoked. Update: (10/08/10) As a result of this offenders actions, he was sentenced to three-and-a-half to seven years in prison.

Unearthed photos led to a groundskeeper's arrest.  Acting on a helpline allegation of past child sexual abuses, agency staff collaborated with local law enforcement which lead to the uncovering of a school groundskeeper's buried stash of child pornography. His buried container had pornographic images of 11 and 12 year old boys totaling 15 victims. He was summarily arrested by investigators. Update: (09/16/2010) Offender plead guilty to this crime and received six months in jail and ten years of probation.

Anonymous helpline complaint shuts down daycare center and sends registered sex offender back to jail.  An anonymous tip alleged that a registered sex offender was residing within a home based day care center. Through a combined effort between local sheriffs, department of parole, and SORT analysts, the offender was violated and remanded to complete his sentence. The State revoked the child care licenses and legislation is now in committee that would make it a felony offense for a registered sex offender to reside within a day care center. Helpline tip removes sexual predicate from retail store. A helpline caller alleged that a registered sex offender was working in a retail location where he supervised teenage boys. Caller further alleged that offender was attempting to develop relationships with these boys. PFML analysts verified offender's status and contacted State Parole. Thanks to this tip and the follow-up investigation, this sexual offender is prohibited from working at this retail location. Update: Offender was later arrested and convicted of sexual abuse against a 15 year old child in connection to this case.

PFML gets cab company on board for a safer ride.  Community members concern that a registered sex offender, who was convicted of rape while operating his cab, was back in the driver's seat. SORT analysts verified offender's status and provided information to local law enforcement. Investigation disclosed that although there are no current restrictions preventing registrants from driving cabs, the livery company dismissed the offender. Further collaboration with the company formed a 'registry verification program'. In this program the company agrees to verify the registration status of all drivers and may post a decal identifying their involvement in our program.

Helpline tip makes Halloween a little safer.  Worried neighbors reported that a local sex offender was in violation of his probation when he decorated his home for Halloween. Concerned that this act was a simply rouge to lure young children onto his property on Halloween Day, neighbors reached out for help. PFML analysts, in collaboration with county probation, confirmed the violation and the offender was forced to remove his decorations. He was further forbid from answering his door on Halloween Day.

Registered offender arrested near school with drugs.  A Helpline caller alleged that a registered sex offender was in violation of his parole by repeatedly visiting the grounds of a local elementary school. SORT analyst verified registration status and with the help of state parole discovered that the offender, although no longer on parole for his sexual offences, had active restrictions concerning an earlier weapons charge. As a result of this tip the offender was arrested near the school and found to be in possession of marijuana. With his parole violated, the offender was returned to prison to serve out the duration of his original sentence.

Helpline tip helps apprehend absconder.  A sexually violent offender is back in jail charged with violation of registration thanks to a concerned caller. Alerted that a violent offender may have absconded, SORT analysts confirmed the registration status, and notified local authorities. This offender, who was convicted of victimizing a 4 year old child, was soon arrested for violation of state registration law.

Sex offender removed from positions of trust.  Thanks to the concern of a helpline tipster a registered sex offender was removed from his position of trust from both a Disney retail outlet, where he worked as a sales clerk and his employment at a local elementary school for disabled children. PFML analysts verified the registered offender's status and confirmed his employment by visual and recorded documentation. As a result of this tip the offender is no longer in positions of trust. Note: State and federal laws prohibiting such employment are pending.

Sex offender's dating plans foiled.  An anonymous tip alleged that a sex offender was utilizing Match.com, a popular internet dating service in violation of his probation. The Department of Probation was alerted of the situation and instructed the offender to close his account. Follow-up analysis by PFML staff proved that he did not comply. The Department of Probation was informed of his continued use of Match.com. As a result of this anonymous tip, the offender was removed from Match.com and punished by the Department of Probation.

Sex offender not welcome on Facebook.  A concerned tipster alerted our helpline analysts that a registered sex offender was actively interfacing on a popular social internet network. Concerned that this mechanism could be used to develop relationships with potential victims, SORT analysts and Facebook professionals moved quickly to verify the offenders status, develop evidence, and eliminate the offender's access to this site.

Sexual offender banded from chaperoning.  Alerted that a convicted sex offender was engaged as a 'field trip chaperone' by a local day care center, PFML staff acted promptly. Working with the State Attorney General's Office and Department of Parole, the chaperone's position, and connection to the center was separated.

Helpline Tip led to offender's Arrest.  Alarmed that an elder elementary school volunteer was allegedly grooming young children with the offer of candy and sleepovers, a concerned neighbor tipped our PFML Helpline. Additional analysis uncovered that the offender also took two of the children camping. State Police were notified and subsequent investigation led to the offender's arrest.

Nursery School Nightmare.  A concerned tipster alerted our helpline analysts that a registered sex offender had just moved into a home only a few short steps away from a registered nursery school. Analysis confirmed the allegation and Nassau County Probation was immediately notified. Further investigation revealed that the subject had failed to properly register as required by State law and was subsequently arrested by authorities.

Too Close To Girl Scout Center.  Acting on a helpline tip; "A registered sex offender had just moved next door to Long Island’s Girl Scouts Center" SORT analysts moved quickly to confirm this information and notify law enforcement. The subject was served with a notice of violation and subsequently relocated to another County.

Nine Sex Offenders Living in Residential House.  Notified that there was as many as nine sex offenders clustered within one Suffolk County residence, SORT analysts acted swiftly in notifying public safety and law enforcement. Working together, notices were served, summonses issued and sex offenders relocated. Within days the offending residence was forced into compliance and now operates within the legal limits of local law.

Too Close to Christian School. A local resident notified Helpline analysts of a registered sex offender living within a close proximity to a Christian learning center. It was soon determined that he was in fact in violation of local county residential restrictions and law enforcement was notified. The offender was served a notice of violation and has since relocated. He currently resides in a trailer.

We Care for Day Care.  Alerted by our PFML website, a concerned caller tipped our helpline investigators that a sex offender had recently moved "up the block" from a local day care center. Investigation and satellite mapping confirmed this tip and law enforcement was notified. The subject was served notice and has since relocated to a more appropriate location.

Too Close to High School.  Local residents reported a Huntington Station sex offender as residing too close to a neighborhood high school. Investigation confirmed their complaints and law enforcement was notified. The offender relocated to Babylon for a short period, but is currently reported homeless by the NYS Sex Offender Registry.

No Robin Hood.  When a Ronkonkoma sex offender attempted to set up residence between a local park and a school, residents reached out for help. PFML SORT analysts investigated and confirmed their allegation and determined the offender was in violation of local residency restrictions. Law enforcement was notified and the offender was served notice of violation. The offender has subsequently relocated to Nottingham, (Maryland).

A Watchful Neighbor alerted SORT Analysts when she noticed a neighbor sex offender state registry was listed at the wrong address. Investigation confirmed her suspicions and his erroneous address reported to state authorities. As it turns out, the true location of his address placed him far to close to a county park and it was determined he was in violation of residency restrictions. Law enforcement was notified and the offender served notice of violation. He has since relocated.

Concerned citizens alerted our Helpline staff after a local resident was arrested for possessing and promoting child pornography. Agency staff advocated to law enforcement and the legal system for diligent prosecution and extensive monitoring. The defendant received 10 years probation and is required by law to register as a sex offender.

Zip Codes Matter.  A sharp Jamestown resident noticed that a registered sex offender residing in his town was posted on the NYS registry with an incorrect zip code. SORT analysts confirmed the error and notified State Authorities. The correction was made and the offender is now listed correctly. This seemingly minor error has greater impact then many would imagine. Most registered sex offender searches, and all email alert programs are zip code generated. So this simple correction placed the offender in the county of his true residence and alerted the surrounding community of his whereabouts.

Not so funny.  When an out of state caller reported to Parents for Megan’s Law that she ordered a 1930’s vintage adult film "as a gag" for an adult party to be held in her home, she and her party friends became nauseated when they discovered that this 1930’s film depicted young children in highly inappropriate and compromising situations. Parents for Megan’s Law analysts acted swiftly in gaining the necessary information and notifying Federal Authorities. As it turned out - this "gag" was no joke.

Sleaze at Chucky Cheese.  The community became outraged when it was learned that a Long Island man was arrested for the seventh time for public lewdness (masturbating in public) - this time at a local family restaurant designed for children’s parties. His past arrests included acts of lewdness in major retail stores, bookstores and libraries, where he was even caught on videotape. But due to the nature of his crimes, and lax state laws, little could be done to curtail this type of outrageous behavior. Parents for Megan’s Law acted swiftly in providing long-term statistically evidence to state lawmakers demonstrating a need to register multiple public lewdness offenders in the state sex offender registry. As a result, the New York State Senate has passed legislation requiring public lewdness offenders with multiple convictions to register. The bill awaits approval in the New York State Assembly.

Social Networking Sex Offenders - One of the most common tips received by PFML SORT analysts are registered sex offenders using social networking sites to meet, groom or access potential victims. PFML staff act immediately upon receipt of such information and routinely check for Level 1/2/3 offenders utilizing social networking in violation of site policies or who may be in violation of the conditions of their probation or parole. Our most recent sweep resulted in the discovery of 45 registered sex offenders on social networking sites. The sites and, in some cases, law enforcement agencies were notified for appropriate follow up action.

Keeping Safe at Hotels/Motels - A family traveling with their children deserves and needs to be informed of a potential threat when deciding to check in to a hotel or motel. Laws in Nassau and Suffolk Counties mandate owners to inform potential guests if a registered sex offender is residing on premises. When tips are received and violations are confirmed both the facility management and local law enforcement are notified. PFML Sort Analysts have intervened and resolved multiple reported cases of hotel/motel operators allegedly not in compliance with these local laws.

Not Him - An alert tipster informed PFML that the NYS Sex offender Registry had posted the wrong photo of a registered sex offender. PFML analysts confirmed the error and worked quickly with the registry to correct it. People rely on the information posted on the registry and PFML is committed to working with states to insure information is accurate.

Zero Tolerance for Child Pornography - A concerned tipster contacted PFML reference an internet site that was displaying pornographic images of underage children being abused. Analysts provided the information to law enforcement authorities who are actively pursuing a criminal investigation of those responsible. Child pornography is the currency of child sexual abuse and each time an image is displayed, traded or sold it perpetuates the victimization of the child.

Sex Offender Working with Kids - A SORT hotline tip was received that a registered sex offender was working and living at a facility that housed children with developmental disabilities and had provided a false address to authorities. Sort analysts were able to confirm the information and contact probation officers who were already working on the case. The offender’s probation was violated and he is currently incarcerated.

Unbelievable - Can a registered sex offender work or volunteer around children? He can if he lives in many states, including Hawaii! After receiving a tip that a homeless shelter was allowing a registered sex offender to live and volunteer around children PFML got involved. Currently, Hawaii does not have laws that prohibit registered sex offenders who are not on probation or parole from working, volunteering or living at a facility that houses children. Placing kids at risk should never be an option and relying on sex offenders to police themselves is not a viable solution. PFML is currently working on bringing this matter to the attention of Hawaii residents and lawmakers in hope of working together to keep our most vulnerable safe.

Ordained Sex Offender - PFML analysts received a tip that a registered sex offender had recently become an ordained minister and had posted himself on the Internet on religious websites. The tipster also reported that the registrant had been seen at a church volunteering where he could interact with children in a position of trust. The offender was on probation and authorities were notified. After investigation by probation authorities a polygraph was ordered, the offender’s conditions of probation were strengthened to include GPS monitoring, and his internet ministry websites were disabled.