Riverhead Sex Offender Had History of Arrests in Hampton Bays

The Riverhead school district sent a letter to parents advising them on how to keep their children safe from predators.

When level two sex offender Donald Brown, 76, was , it wasn't the first time.

Brown was arrested last week after allegedly twice approaching an 11-year-old boy outside at approximately 8:15 a.m, offering him money and asking if he wanted to be his friend.

According to police, Brown had been living at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside, a motel where at least one other convicted sex offender has been known to reside.

Brown was convicted in 1998 of sodomizing a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy and spent over a year and a half in prison. His parole expired in 2005, according to the New York State Department of Corrections.

After his release, he was arrested twice in 2007 for violating an order of protection that stated he was not allowed to step foot anywhere in Southampton Town.

Brown was arrested after he was found loitering outside the and the Southampton Town Community Center. Members of the Hampton Bays school district, including former superintendent Joanne Lowenthal and parents, rallied to protect students after Brown was seen repeatedly outside the school and in 2006, sitting in the stands watching football practice – seeking an order of protection in 2006 to prevent Brown from stepping foot on school property.

At the time, Brown said he was outside on the sidewalk because he was heading to the senior center on Ponquogue Avenue.

After last week's arrest, Riverhead Central School District Superintendent Nancy Carney thanked the for their thorough investigation, adding that police have been in constant contact with her since the incident.

She also thanked a school crossing guard who recognized Brown and alerted uniformed officers.

Since learning about this incident, Carney said administrators have worked with the district's internal security department and building administrators to pay extra attention to our students as they are coming and going from school.

Teachers have been asked to remind students not to talk to strangers. "The safety of our students is the top priority for every employee of the Riverhead Central School District and we will do what is necessary to protect our students," Carney said. "As a mother and an educator, I urge parents to remind their children that if they are approached by a stranger, they should alert a trusted adult immediately."

Children, she added, should also be told to never get in a car with a stranger
or accept a gift from anyone they don't know.

Brown was arrested on loitering charges and remains at Suffolk County Jail with bail set at $10,000.


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