Saturday, October 06, 2012

Parent on East Ramapo school patrol is sex convict 

One of the parents who earlier this week confronted trespassers at an East Ramapo elementary school to highlight the dangers of failing to secure school borders is a Level 1 sex offender.

Keith Meyers, 47, of Spring Valley pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor count of attempted possession of a sexual performance of a child less than 16 years of age, officials at the state Division of Criminal Justice Services said Friday. Meyers told Journal News reporter Mareesa Nicosia of his status, but the information was not included in a story on Page One Wednesday.

Level 1 is the lowest of the state’s three designations, and Level 1 offenders are considered at low risk of repeating their crimes.

There are no local laws prohibiting Level 1 offenders who have successfully completed their probation from being on school grounds, said Patricia Gunning, chief prosecutor for the Special Victims Unit of the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.

Though registered with the state for a 20-year period, Level 1 offenders are not listed on the state’s sex offender website.

About eight parents patrolled the grounds of Grandview Elementary for two hours Tuesday, confronting walkers as they took a shortcut through the property.

Most of the men and women cutting across the school’s expansive back lawn were Orthodox or Hasidic Jews observing the festival of Sukkot, a time when they typically do not drive.

Joseph Gestetner, a Spring Valley man who writes in the local community and maintains a popular blog, questioned the motives of the parents who patrolled the school and confronted the men and women while they were observing the religious festival.

“There’s a saying in the Talmud that somebody who has failure tends to project that failure on to other people,” said Gestetner, who has a child in an East Ramapo private school.

“Being that he was the guy over there rushing over to people on a Tuesday afternoon in the rain with nothing else on his mind other than wondering if there’s an Orthodox pedophile running around, you have to look at your own books. We did and this is what we found,” he said.


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