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Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah
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Sex Offender's Return Prompts Call For Child Safety

BEDFORD, N.Y. — With the news of a level three sex offender now inhabiting Katonah, Assemblyman Robert Castelli is calling for heightened restrictive measures to be taken by New York municipalities.

The offender, David Ohnmacht, recently moved back to 126 Harris Road in Katonah, and was recently released on good behavior after spending eight years in prison. According to the statement by the assemblyman, Ohnmacht was convicted on charges of sexual assaults on girls aged 14 and under, including counts of first-degree rape, attempted rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and possessing pictures of a sexual performance by a child.

Castelli was a 21-year member of the New York State Police and a former professor of criminal justice. Because of his background, along with his involvement in the Assembly’s Sex Offender Watch Task Force, Castelli has a strong belief as to what should be done by the county, and state, in the future.

“It is time for us as public servants to act,” Castelli said. “Politics must not stand in the way of our children's safety. It is simply unacceptable that Putnam, Rockland and Nassau counties have passed Child Safety Zone laws, while Westchester County and the State have failed to act.”

The Child Safety Zone law bans sex offenders from loitering within 1,000 feet of specified locations. It would also ban offenders, level two and above, from living near child safety zones, creating a “a sex offender free” zone in which children would be potentially at a higher risk. According to the statement by Castelli, a child safety zone could include anything from a school, to a venue that could be catered to children.

Due to that legislation, Ohnmacht would not have been allowed to move to his current home because of his level three ranking, along with the home’s proximity to child-centered businesses, according to Castelli’s statement.

The Westchester County District Attorney’s office is holding a community meeting at the Bedford Town House on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The presentation will be on Megan’s Law, a set of laws that require law enforcements to give the public access to information on sex offenders.

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