A convicted sex-offender is scheduled to move into a group home for developmentally disabled adults next week in Wilton, NY. Sharon Ashe, the mother of a twenty-five year resident of the group home, is trying to prevent the placement. We are receiving multiple reports that housing convicted sex offenders in group homes for the developmentally disabled, including offenders who do not have developmental disabilities.
The proposed resident in Wilton has a history of multiple sex offenses and served prison time for felony third-degree sexual assault on a teenage girl. The home is operated by the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Families of the current residents in the group home were not informed of the proposed new resident’s criminal history, but found out through unofficial sources. This incident confirms numerous reports of similar placements of sex offenders in group homes for the disabled.
The Autism Action Network has begun discussion with members of the legislature to introduce legislation to prohibit housing convicted sex offenders in group homes for the disabled.
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The Ashe family is working to prevent the placement with Michael Carey, a long-time advocate for the disabled whose son Jonathan was killed by a staffer at the O. D. Heck Center. “Placing a convicted sex offender in with a population of developmentally disabled adults is Illegal,” according to Carey, “Any rational person would see this as endangering the welfare of the current residents.” Carey has documented thousands of sexual assaults in residential facilities that have not been investigated or prosecuted.
Since New York’s Justice Center was found un-Constitutional last year by multiple courts New York does not have a functioning way to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against developmental disabled residents of facilities, yet the state is trying to place convicted sex criminals with developmental disabled adults. The outcry in Wilton has resulted in a delay in the placement.
The Post Star reported on the incident in Wilton:
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