BREAKING: Suspect caught, questioned for sexual assault of Sunset teen

Charges have been filed against the man suspected of sodomizinga 15-year-old boy at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday, December 23, inthe vicinity of Dahlgren Place and 92nd Street in Bay Ridge.

Steven Pappas, 50, was arraigned on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyncriminal court after being spotted and arrested three days earlier byofficers from the Brooklyn Special Victims Unit driving nearSeventh Avenue and 53rd Street – near where the boy lives and wastaken.

It was around 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, December 29, when anattempt to pull him over failed, but led to Pappas being spotted onfoot 15 blocks away. A brief foot chase ensued and he wasapprehended at 50th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

NYPD mobile units, bloodhounds and helicopters converged onDyker Heights for hours in the area along Fort Hamilton Parkwaybetween 60th and 70th Streets, searching for Pappas and his whiteor gray blue minivan, said to have been used in the attack.

Pappas had the police shield of an active duty officer in hispossession when taken into custody. He was the target of aborough-wide manhunt for impersonating a police officer in order toabduct and sodomize the teen.

Following the arrest, police have already linked Pappas to aFebruary 2009 incident involving the sexual assault of a12-year-old boy who was approached by a man flashing a policeshield at the same 53rd Street Brooklyn subway station where thelatest victim was taken from.

He faces numerous charges of committing a criminal sex act,criminal abuse and criminal impersonation. He is being held withoutbail and is due back in court this week.

Pappas was first identified by Sergeant George Astras of the72nd Precinct during a comparison of the police sketch against anNYPD photo database.

According to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who commendedAstras and Brooklyn officers on their detective work, the suspectis a Level 3 sex offender who served five years in prison foressentially the same thing involving a 14-year-old in 1999. Hehad just been released on early parole for 2009 burglary chargesless than a week before the latest attack.

The suspect has since been living at an unregistered addressnear both a park and a school – against state laws that mandatethat Level 3 sex offenders not live within 1,000 feet of aschool – while listing his address as the Bellevue Men’s Shelter inManhattan.

This revelation outraged local leaders, including State SenatorMarty Golden.

Reports are that the suspect was released early on parole onFriday, December 16, committed the crime on December 23, and now,less than two weeks later, is back in police custody, said Goldenin a statement. The suspect should have never been released and Icall on State Parole Commissioners to keep our criminals in jail.If this individual was not given an early release, this would havenever happened.

The latest victim is said to have tossed an empty potato chipbag to the ground on the platform of the R-line at the 53rd Streetand Fourth Avenue station when the suspect, dressed in civilianclothes, is alleged to have displayed a police-like shield to theboy, accused him of littering, told him he was under arrest, andordered him to enter a white van.

The boy was driven to Bay Ridge, where he was ordered to performoral sex on the suspect and then sodomized. Throughout, the suspectis said to have threatened the victim with a syringe.

The victim was eventually released from the van at the corner of38th Street and Fourth Avenue, not far from where he resides.

For the past few days, flyers, wanted posters and crimeprevention materials have been handed out by police in Bay Ridgeand Sunset Park.

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