Sex Offender Released Without Bail After Nursery School Arrest
Hudson Valley residents are outraged after a high-risk sex offender who allegedly approached two girls at a nursery school is back home due to New York State's new bail reform law.
Mark Edward Nelson, 61, of Newburgh was arrested last week after New Windsor police investigated a report of a man trespassing in a fenced-in playground of an unnamed New Windsor nursery school.
Two employees and two children were exiting the nursery school out of the side door near the playground when Nelson approached them in the darkened area and attempted to make contact with them on school property, police say.
The women and children fled to a vehicle, left the area and later called police. New Windsor police investigated and charged Nelson, a Level 3 sex offender, with criminal trespass.
"He was released without bail due to the Bail Reform Laws that prevent him (from) being remanded to jail," the New Windsor Police Department said in a press release.
Level-3 sex offenders are considered to have the highest risk of a repeat offense and are considered the greatest risk to the public, according to the New York State Sex Offender's database.
“A level 3 sex offender snuck into a fenced in nursery school playground in New Windsor where many young children from my district and neighborhood play. Due to the outrageous dangerous criminal justice changes and bail elimination this pervert was released without bail and is a free man able to immediately prey again on young children in our community. This predator is a level 3 offender, the most dangerous and most likely to re-offend," Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R, New Windsor) said in a statement. "We cannot fall any further as a society than when our own children aren't even safe in a fenced in nursery school playground. I call on the Governor, State Senate and Assembly Majorities to repeal this law that they imposed on us and our children immediately. There is simply no justification for this madness. Those who voted yes need to wake up now. How many more children need to be endangered before this is handled? Repeal this law now. Repeal this law now. Repeal this law now."
Nelson was sentenced to three to six years in prison after he was convicted in 1996 of attempted sodomy of two girls, ages 10 and 11, in Orange County.