Suspect arrested in Sunset Park sex assault

December 30, 2011 2:39:47 PM PST
A registered sex offender with a long criminal history is under arrest in the sexual assault of a teenage boy in Brooklyn.

Police say Steven Pappas posed as a police officer to lure the 15-year-old boy to his van in Sunset Park.

The 50-year-old Pappas has also been linked him to a similar crime nearly three years ago.

Police say that in both cases, Pappas impersonated a police officer to get his victims to follow him.

Last Friday, police say he ordered a 15-year-old into his van after the teen littered at a subway station.

"He did have, in fact, in his possession, a police badge, a police shield of an active duty police officer," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "That's under investigation."

Pappas was taken into custody Thursday morning, following a brief police pursuit through Sunset Park.

Detectives from the Special Victims Unit first spotted him near Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street just after 8:15 a.m. Pappas was captured after the chase at 50th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

After reviewing similar cases, investigators say Pappas also used a badge to lure a 12-year- old at the same subway station in 2009. He allegedly ordered the boy in a car and sexually assaulted him.

Pappas is a Level 3 sex offender recently released from prison following a burglary conviction. Brooklyn State Senator Martin Golden says Pappas should have been more closely monitored following his release.

"Where were the parole officers who were supposed to be on top of him the day he left that prison?" Golden said.

Golden says Pappas fell through the cracks of a corrections and parole system that has been shrinking under the weight of state budget cuts.

Pappas is charged with criminal sex act, sex abuse, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal impersonation, unauthorized use of a vehicle and endangering the welfare of a child.

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