|Richard C. Kloch Sr.|
By Thomas J. Prohaska
Blasting the entire system of civil confinement of sex offenders, a judge last week committed [name withheld] of Buffalo to a mental institution while denouncing the “callousness” with which state parole officers and counselors treated him.
State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., who in 2010 freed [name withheld] from institutionalization, acknowledged that [name withheld] is a pedophile.
[name withheld] was convicted in 1997 of felonies in both Erie and Niagara counties for sexually abusing two sisters. He served almost 11 years in prison and 21 months in a mental institution before Kloch ordered him released.
Last November, after [name withheld] had lived on his own for a year and a half without incident, Kloch placed him on Strict and Intensive Supervision and Treatment, or SIST.
That’s a parole regimen for which Kloch specified 82 rules. Violating any of them could have resulted in [name withheld] being punished with commitment.
Kloch said parole officers at the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and counselors at Mid-Erie Counseling and Treatment undermined his order that [name withheld] be allowed to live in the community under supervision.
“The court believes Parole and Mid-Erie will never allow this to happen,” Kloch wrote. “Instead, Parole and Mid-Erie would prefer the state taxpayers pay $250,000 a year to have Mr. [name withheld] committed. That is a better alternative to them than doing their job and trying to fulfill the court order for SIST. There is a word for that: callousness.”
In his month on the supervisory program, [name withheld], 46, lost his job, lost a relationship with his fiancee, was evicted from his apartment in the Riverside section of Buffalo and became a homeless resident of the City Mission.
“It is clear that the parole officer and therapists were put off by Mr. [name withheld]. The animus projected toward Mr. [name withheld] throughout this proceeding literally was pooling on the courtroom floor,” Kloch wrote.
But he conceded that “in the absence of a job, residence or stability, [name withheld] will be unable to control his behavior.”
[name withheld] was arrested for missing an appointment with a Mid-Erie counselor at the parole office at Main and Court streets at 2 p.m. Dec. 6. He had kept a 12:30 p.m. substance abuse screening appointment at Mid-Erie’s office at 1131 Broadway, which he left at 1:45.
“Mr. [name withheld] had no automobile, and it was impossible for him to walk to Court and Main in 15 minutes. Anyone remotely familiar with Buffalo — such as someone who works downtown — would know this,” Kloch wrote.
Witnesses at a March 29 court hearing said they thought [name withheld] could take the bus.
According to the Metro Bus website, Bus 4B stops at Broadway and Sweet Street, the closest intersection to 1131 Broadway, at 1:46. A person who caught that bus would be at Main and Court in 12 minutes. But if he missed that bus, the next one wasn’t until 2:06.
“Sometime around 3 p.m., Mr. [name withheld] appeared at the office. This ‘missed’ appointment served as the primary basis for the state filing a violation petition,” Kloch wrote.
Officials at Parole, Mid-Erie and the state attorney general’s office could not be reached to comment Saturday.