2015-02-04 / Front Page

Sex Offender Reported Living At Westway Motel Homeless Shelter

A convicted child molester who sexually assaulted a 7-year-old girl has now taken up residence at the Westway Hotel homeless shelter located on Astoria Boulevard in Astoria.

The individual known as James Bryant, 49, was sent ot the Westway after living in a shelter in The Bronx.

According to official reports, Bryant was released from prison in 2014 after spending 10 years behind bars for the 2003 aggressive assault in Texas and is also listed by the state as a level-two sex offender.

The city Department of Homeless Services has been housing 121 families at Westway since the summer of last year and plans to turn the entire facility from a temporary shelter into a permanent one.

"It is unconscionable that a convicted violent sex offender is living in a residential shelter for families with children. The Department of Homeless Services should not permit a situation like this. This is one of the many deep concerns that I have had with the process of opening an emergency homeless shelter at the Westway Motel. Since the shelter opened last year, the community and local elected officials have had no voice in the process. We have lacked adequate access to the shelter facilities and its management, so it came to me as a complete surprise that a violent sex offender has been permitted to live in this facility. The families in need who are living at the Westway deserve more than just a roof over their head - they deserve a safe place to live.  I urge DHS to act swiftly and ensure that the families' safety is a top priority," said Councilmember Costa Constantinides.


UPDATE•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

It was announced on February 5 at 1 p.m. that James Bryant has been removed from the Westway according to a spokesperson for Assemblymember Aravella Simotas.

It issued a statement yesterday that read: “DHS takes safety concerns very seriously,” adding that it is “currently reviewing policies with regard to sex offenders in the families with children system.”




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