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Queens Chronicle

Caught! Fugitive in child abuse case

Homeless shelter resident charged with second sex attack in 6 weeks

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 10:30 am

The Ozone Park homeless shelter resident wanted for skipping bail on charges of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old child in a Woodhaven laundromat is behind bars again.

After nearly a month on the run, Luis Olivo, 63, was arrested Sunday afternoon in Downtown Jamaica, police said.

Police say he was apprehended in a second-hand clothing store on Jamaica Avenue after a witness spotted him allegedly groping an 8-year-old girl.

It was the second time in six weeks he’d been arrested for allegedly molesting a young child in a public place.

The saga of the Ozone Park homeless shelter resident has resurrected the anger and resentment of neighborhood groups long opposed to the shelter.

The city, which opened the 117-bed men’s shelter at 101st Avenue and 85th Street last February, had promised local leaders it would screen residents of the facility, located within a half mile of four schools, for histories of sex offenses and mental problems.

“When I started this battle against the homeless shelter, I stated unequivocally that it would only be a matter of time before a woman or child were molested or raped,” Sam Esposito, president of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association and the leader of a long legal battle to stop the shelter from opening, said in an email to the Chronicle.

The civic groups did not learn that Olivo — who has an arrest record that dates back to 1987 — was living in the shelter until two weeks after he’d been arrested at a Woodhaven laundromat and charged with pulling a 3-year-old boy between his legs.

A laundromat patron recorded the encounter on her cell phone, which was turned over to police.

News of that first arrest came out during a contentious monthly meeting of the shelter’s Citizen Advisory Board when the commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, Deputy Inspector Courtney Nilan, asked administrators if Olivo was eligible to return to the shelter, if he made his $2,000 bail.

A few days later, Olivo was freed from Rikers Island after a justice-reform group called the Bronx Freedom Fund posted his bail.

When Olivo failed to appear at a scheduled court appearance Nov. 8, a warrant was issued and he has been a fugitive until now.

Last Sunday, an employee of My Unique clothing store on Jamaica Avenue told police he’d seen Olivo slip his hand under the skirt of a child he’d been sitting with, according to the criminal complaint.

After his arrest, Olivo gave police a false name, the complaint said, and tried to convince them the debit card he was carrying with the name Luis Olivo was not his.

The arrest report lists him as homeless with no known address, leaving it unclear where he’d been living during his weeks as a fugitive.

Olivo was arraigned late Monday on charges of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and forcible touching and false personation, both misdemeanors,

Criminal Court Judge Judge Karina Alomar declined the prosecutor’s request to hold Olivo without bail. She set bail at $100,000.

Olivo’s Legal Aid lawyer declined comment on Tuesday.

Esposito noted the lack of any reaction from elected leaders.

“There is no outrage by our politicians,” he said. “The mayor comes to Queens to comfort the people whose houses got flooded by sewer water but could care less about the kids that were molested.”

At a town hall meeting in Jamaica late last month, Mayor de Blasio said he’d not heard of the case until being handed a copy of the Queens Chronicle, but labeled the shelter’s failure to work with community groups as “unacceptable.”

The new police commissioner, Dermot Shea, who accompanied de Blasio to the meeting, said he’d been briefed earlier on the case — and praised the civilian who took a cell phone video.

Since Olivo skipped bail, the mother of the 3-year-old victim in Woodhaven said that she had been distraught by the thought that other children may be in jeopardy.

After learning of the circumstances of the new arrest, she told the Chronicle in a message relayed through a relative, “I’m very angry.”

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1 comment:

  • Linnster posted at 12:23 pm on Fri, Dec 6, 2019.

    Linnster Posts: 10

    Here's is a perfect case where bail should have been denied. How many children does this depraved person have to molest before he is recognized as someone who should never be outside a jail cell?