Teen accused of sexual abusing child in shelter

March 19, 2010 2:45:08 PM PDT
Investigators are looking into a disturbing case of abuse inside a New York City shelter. The suspect is 15-years-old, accused of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl.

She went into details as far as saying, he goes into my pants when I'm sleeping," said Rose Pizarro, the victim's mother.

It was enough to make any parent cringe as Rose Pizarro told Eyewitness News how her little girl was allegedly sexually abused by the teenage boy at the East River Family Center, a homeless shelter in East Harlem.

Police have now charged the teenager with 1st degree sexual abuse, a felony in family court.

Some residents at the shelter are still fuming over the way the case was handled and what the staff said to them when they reported it.

"They should've never left their kids there," said Alexis Duran."

A spokesperson at the Department of Homeless Services insists they are cooperating with police on the case, but these residents don't understand why it took over a week before the suspect's family was moved.

Some residents do insist the shelter is a safe one, especially if you take precautions.

"If you are focused and you don't socialize and you're business oriented, there's no opportunity for it to happen," said one resident.

Police continue to investigate, looking for others who may turn out to be victims in this case as well.