Updated: 02/12/2014 11:29 PM
Created: 02/12/2014 6:25 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
Response continues to pour in about our exclusive New York State Exposed report on sex offenders being moved to area group homes. We've been hearing from so many people including homeowners and town leaders who are concerned about the safety of their communities. For the first time, the two men who worked where these sex offenders lived previously are speaking out.
The two men worked at the Monroe Developmental Center and came forward separately after seeing our New York State Exposed reports this week. Brett Davidsen sat down with them and both say they fear some of those sex offenders once living at the institution are not suited to be in community settings.
“James” said, “The reason for me doing this is to protect those individuals that are within these group homes and with the communities who can't protect themselves."
The man says after seeing our reports on sex offenders being placed in local group homes, he felt compelled to speak out.
“James” said, “They’re as dangerous as you can imagine.”
“James” is a former longtime employee of the Monroe Developmental Center, an institution in Brighton for people with developmental disabilities. He asked to conceal his identity because he’s still affiliated with the state. We are calling him “James”. “James” says he’s concerned the men he dealt with at MDC are now being placed in settings that could put neighbors, other residents and staff at risk.
“James” said, "A lot of them, based on their history, could be physical and/or sexually aggressive if not monitored on a regular basis."
Our investigation uncovered 12 medium and high risk sex offenders were in the secure area of MDC, known as the forensic unit, segregated from the other residents. Their crimes ranged from attempted rape to sexual abuse of children.
When the state closed the institution at the end of December, the sex offenders, all men, were transferred to group homes throughout western New York including Scottsville, Palmyra and West Seneca.
In a statement last March when the closing of MDC was first announced, the governor's office told News10NBC "any individual deemed to be a sex offender or a threat to the safety of a community would never be placed in a setting where they could harm themselves or others.
“James” said, “Wow, that really sound poignant and powerful, but I didn't see it."
Neither did this man who we're calling "Todd." He also worked at MDC and asked that we conceal his identity too because he still works for the state.
News10NBC’s Brett Davidsen asked, “Some of them expressed that they were afraid to go out into the community. What would they say?
“Todd” said, “That they were just scared. They didn't know what to think. And bluntly, some were just, like, I don't know if I’ll do what I did before."
“James” said, “I also saw that within the last six months of the operation of the building, it seemed like we were in a rush mode to want to get these individuals paperwork adapted to make them more acceptable."
“Todd” said, “We, as the people who worked with them every day, didn't feel they were ready."
Both “James” and “Todd” say they're concerned that the group homes don't offer nearly the same level of security and the staff there is not specifically trained to work with violent sexual predators.
“James” said, “I believe unless the state closely monitors this, i believe there will be a high failure rate within the communities with these individuals."
The state does have an alert system you can sign up for that will advise you when a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood.