FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 31, 2019

 

Former Homeless Services Employee Convicted of Forcible Touching,
Sexual Abuse for Inappropriately Touching Women in Homeless Shelter

Defendant Abused Three Women at Fort Greene Shelter in Separate Incidents

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett, today announced that a former employee of the New York City Department of Homeless Services has been convicted of forcible touching and sexual abuse in connection with incidents involving three residents of the Auburn Family Shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The victims in this case are among society’s most vulnerable people and it is incumbent upon us that when we welcome them into a New York City shelter they are offered a safe haven and treated with dignity and respect. Sadly, that did not happen in this case. Today’s verdict is a measure of justice for these women and holds the defendant accountable for his egregious and abusive conduct.”

Commissioner Garnett said, “This defendant preyed upon already vulnerable shelter residents, depriving them of the security and confidence they should expect in a City-operated shelter and when coming to a public servant for assistance. Today, this defendant was held accountable, is now facing jail time, and no longer works for the City of New York. This investigation underscores how sexual abuse and harassment infringe on a person’s most basic rights and feeling of safety. DOI thanks the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in the prosecution of this important investigation.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Clyde Johnson, 56, of Queens. He was convicted today of three counts of forcible touching and one count of third-degree sexual abuse following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Laura Johnson, who set sentencing for December 16, 2019, at which time the defendant faces up to two years in jail.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on four separate occasions in 2017, the defendant, a housing specialist, forcibly touched or sexually abused three women who were residents of the Auburn Family Shelter, either at the shelter or in the vicinity.

  • In April 2017, the defendant groped a shelter resident while meeting with her to discuss housing.
  • In July 2017, the defendant rubbed up against a shelter resident’s buttocks while she was making a purchase at a deli near the shelter, telling her: “This is a stickup.” On a separate occasion, the defendant rubbed up against the same woman while they were riding on the B54 bus.
  • In August 2017, the defendant groped a shelter resident who had come to his office seeking help with her housing situation.

The investigation was conducted by DOI’s Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Homeless Services, specifically Special Investigator Jeremy Reyes, under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General Audrey Feldman and First Deputy Inspector General John Bellanie, and the overall supervision of Inspector General Milton Yu, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella and First Deputy Commissioner Daniel Cort.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brittany Heaney and Senior Assistant District Attorney Deborah Cohen, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Miss Gregory, Chief.

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