2012-02-16 / Front Page / General Stories

New home being found for sex offender

Carmel location near schoolchildren had town in uproar
Eric Gross

A Level 3 sex offender who relocated to Carmel a week ago is on his way to a new residence after a furor was created due to the proximity of the convict’s location to a nursery school and day care center.

Carmel Police reported last Friday that Lance Smith, 45, had moved into an apartment on 25 Seminary Hill Road in the vicinity of Church Street across the street from a day care center, less than one block from a nursery school and two blocks from St. James School.

 Smith was arrested in June 2005 and convicted the following year for Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree—a Class B felony carrying a maximum 25 year state prison term for becoming sexually involved with a "non-stranger female girl under the age of 11."

After spending just five years in state prison Smith was released on parole and according to Carmel Police is being supervised by the NYS Division of Parole.

A Level 3 sex offender is the most serious category and is considered the most likely to reoffend.

On Friday, State Senator Greg Ball was joined by Carmel officials who demanded that the Probation Department relocate Smith immediately.

Police Chief Michael Johnson said “sex offenders have to live someplace. They must be relocated where they will not have the temptation to repeat their crime.”

Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt charged that “elected officials must take very step to ensure the health and safety and well being of our children whether they attend a daycare center, a nursery school or an educational facility. A convicted sex offender being located within a stone’s throw of a daycare center is totally ludicrous. Children must be protected.”

Senator Ball described the current state law relating to child safety zones as being “bone-headed. This is insanity. Loopholes must be closed by setting up a 1,000 foot barrier for all schools including pre schools and day care centers as well as parks and bus stops. Kids must be kept safe but it appears as though common sense has been lost in favor of a convicted sex offender. It’s our duty and obligation as elected officials to keep children safe.”

The New York State Sex Offender Registry lists 18 Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders as residents of Putnam County.




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