JEFFERSON COUNTY- Residents of West Carthage are showing their concern and frustration following an incident where a suspect is accused of public lewdness within sight of a nearby playground.
As recently reported, local officials have taken their pleas to the Jefferson County Board of Legislators with aims of prohibiting high-risk sex offenders from living within 1,000-feet of a playground.
Current state law already includes this concept for schools, but doesn’t specify parks or playgrounds.
In West Carthage, the latest uproar involves the fact that sex offenders have been housed by DSS and Department of Corrections at the Pleasant Night Inn, which is only a few hundred feet of a playground.
Village police just reported that Charles Williams Jr., 28, a resident of the Inn and a registered level-three sex-offender, was recently arrested and charged for forcible touching after an alleged incident at the establishment.
There is further trouble to report now, as another resident of the inn is accused of pleasuring himself in view of two children who were utilizing the playground nearby.
Elvin Nieves (no age provided) was formally charged with public lewdness. Authorities say Nieves has a previous record of similar cases in the city of Watertown, NY.
He was released on an appearance ticket, according to an update from WWNY-TV.
Following his release, Nieves marched to the home of Mayor Scott Burto, allegedly harassing him and his wife. Police arrested and charged Nieves, again, this time with harassment in the second-degree.
Since these occurrences have surfaced, Mayor Burto says he continues to receive feedback from families who say they are now scared to bring their kids to that park.
There are growing cries of change now echoing from the local and state level. North Country Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush recently told reporters that any policy reform at the state level is still at-least a year away.
Officials confirmed that there are new ways forward being hashed out and the suspect in question has been relocated away from the inn.