Child Sexual Sadist Calls Falls Home
By Frank Parlato
One evening last week, the Niagara Falls Reporter made a visit to the Niagara Falls rooming house known as the Midtown Hotel to see first hand where the illegally placed, half dozen registered sex offenders who are on parole live.
We reported two weeks ago, that six Level 3 and one Level 2 sex offenders lived in the flop house at 1967 Niagara St, only 900 feet away from the Niagara Street Elementary School.
They were placed there by New York State Division of Parole despite the fact that by state law paroled sex offenders are not permitted to live within 1,000 feet of a school, a daycare, or a park.
I arrived at the Midtown Hotel, which is actually a rooming house, or rather two rooming houses side by side - one a frame dwelling and the other a brick one, connected by an enclosed and completely illegal hallway.
There is a parking lot next to the frame building.
I was accompanied this evening by my associate, Rick DiGregorio.
And soon after we parked, we saw a man looking out into the parking lot from a first floor window. He held a large BB gun pistol in his hand and was aiming it at something near the fire escape a few feet away.
He had a completely demented, wild-eyed look on his face.
Shortly after publication of our story on the human vermin who call the Midtown home, some of the victims of these and other sex offenders had contacted us to tell us their stories. Some expressed fear that these men were living near a school.
One of the calls that prompted our interest was related to Scott C. Mayer, the only level 2 offender living at the Midtown and, arguably, the least dangerous of the group. All the others were level 3 offenders, considered the worst that society has to tolerate.
I approached the man with the BB gun and asked if he knew Scott Mayer. Rick stood beside me, as he said, ready to snatch the gun away from the man, if he tried pointing it at us.
He did not. As we came nearer, he put his gun away and shut the window.
We waited for someone else to appear.
What had intrigued me about Mayer was his lower classification.
I had spoken with one of his victims, Amanda Does, now 18 years old.
During several conversations, she told me she wanted her name used in the story because "It might help others to be brave enough to speak out."
After talking to Amanda, I had strong reason to wonder, if Scott Mayer was a level 2 offender, then what are the level 3 offenders like?
Here is what she had told me:
"Scott abused me since I was eight years old. He would touch me and sometimes rape me. I lost my virginity when I was eight. Afterward, he would throw me money."
How old was he at the time?
"He was 42. He had a foot fetish. He would invite me to his game room. My mother and I lived in an apartment next to where he lived. He lived with his elderly mother. We were just children, another girl who lived there and I. She was seven. He had lots of nice games and presents. And he would bring these live goldfish and made us walk on them while he filmed us with his video camera. He made us walk on the fish until they died."
Were you frightened?
"He made us strip down to our underwear and he would touch me, feel my butt and ask me if I liked it. I would ask for my mom. But he would tell me I couldn’t see her and that if I told her or anyone he would kill them. Afterward, he would take us out and buy us presents and give us money. I was so young at the time I didn’t realize that what he was doing was wrong or rather that this didn't happen to every child. He forcibly raped me. He would film me touching his penis."
How long did this go on?
"For six years. He took my childhood away from me."
So Scott C. Mayer sexually abused seven and eight year old girls for six years. His punishment was six years probation. The light sentence, and the resultant Level 2 designation, it appears, occurred, in large part, because Amanda and his other victim were too traumatized to testify.
"I was 14 when he was charged," Amanda said. "He ruined my life. But he got off easy. I was unable to testify. I couldn't face him."
While on probation, Mayer was jailed for six months because a random search of his computer revealed he had been looking at child pornography on the internet, according to Amanda.
He abused you for six years; he got a six-year probation, and six months in prison for viewing child pornography. 6-6-6. But you got the longest punishment, I said to her.
After Mayer was sentenced to probation, Amanda said, when she was 14, she ran away from home.
"When the abuse was going on," she said, "Scott used to tell me that if we didn't come over he would punish us. I thought, as a child that what he was doing was ok. Even when he said he would hurt my family. He said he would shoot my mother in the head."
You mean, as a child, you grew up believing the world offered no protection for you? That adults could do this and there was nothing a child could do?
"That's right. It wasn't until I was 14 did I tell my mother. If I could go back in time, I would have told earlier. Even when, after stepping on the fish, and I had to go to the doctor because I had warts on my feet, nobody knew. The doctor treated me for warts."
How did it come to pass that you told your mother?
"I was dating a boy and I told him and he saw my fear when my friend (who he was also abusing) had not come home. My boyfriend said, 'if you don’t tell your mother, I am going to tell her.'When I told my mom, she was heartbroken.. For the first time in my life I felt I was not scared anymore. They called North Tonawanda police and they found the videos and arrested him.
"My childhood as taken. I turned to drugs and acting out. I tried to cut myself. I spent time in a psych ward. I still deal with it every day. For years, I blamed myself. I felt I put my mother through all this torture. I was so disappointed in myself for not telling my mother sooner.
"I did not testify when I was 14 because I was afraid. I am not afraid now. I would not want him or someone like him to violate my own daughter like he did to me. That's why I want you to use my name. Knowing Scott the way I do, I know he should not be by a school. He will do it again.”
While we waited at the Midtown, after awhile, the man with the BB gun reopened the window and now was looking for something to shoot at. We got out of the car and moving quickly toward him, we surprised him before he could shut the window.
I asked him again, "Do you know Scott Mayer?"
“Are you a cop?” he said.
“No,” I said, "'I'm looking for Scott Mayer."
He said, now feigning to be an infant, with spittle drooling from his lips, "My mommy told me not to ... talk to ... stway-n-gers."
A deep man's voice from inside the house yelled, "Shut the window!" And he did so and pulled down the blinds.
We waited again. Finally a man drove up in a car. Then a woman who was actually sitting in the grass, behind a garbage can, stood up. She was no more than four feet tall. Befriending her and the man, we learned there was a manager who lived there. We asked to see him and we followed the woman as she opened the locked door and limped in.
We followed her down a dark and narrow hallway to the room where the manager lived and knocked at his door. When he came to the door, we asked him where Scott Mayer lived.
“309,” he said.
What about the other sex offenders? Frank Rowles, Thomas Chew, Robert Santmyer, Daniel Pelczynski, Dale Goff and Christopher Zimmerman?
"They moved out and turned in their keys."
"To nearby motels. Some went to a motel next to Juniors Truck Stop and some to a motel next to Delta Sonic. I honestly didn't know they were sex offenders until it was out in the paper. They were all moved out the day after the story came out."
What about Mayer?
"I don't know. He did not return his key."
We walked up the two flights of stairs to Mayer's room and knocked. There was no answer.
As we walked through the corridors of the Mid Town - a poor place to live if you’ve got claustrophobia - we asked various tenants who had their doors open if they knew if Scott was in.
One man said he could not speak English.
The conditions could be said to be fairly squalid and tenants told us they paid between $300 and $360 per month, including utilities, for what was a 10 by 10 room in a condemned building.
The rooms we saw had no bathroom. They had a bed, an old table, a microwave and a small refrigerator. There were shared bathrooms.
One man said that most of the sex offenders had moved out, but one was still here and he, dressed almost in rags, said he had helped him take out the garbage the other day.
One middle-aged man, with a scruffy beard and who could barely walk, said he had met Scott.
"I knew he had some trouble before," he said. "He came out of the mission. But I thought they got all the sexual predators out of here. Scott said he was in here for stealing cars."
Maybe Mayer had moved out and merely failed to return the key. I contacted Niagara Falls Police Chief Bryan DalPorto and asked him what he knew about it.
He said he was told by New York State Office of Parole that everyone had been moved out, including Mayer.
"The key is to make sure it doesn’t happen down the road again," said DalPorto. "I'm glad we were able to come to a resolution that complies with the law. That being said, we are going to keep on an eye on it."
New York State Assemblyman John Ceretto and State Senator George Maziarz also got on State Parole's case.
I also contacted Code Enforcement director Dennis Virtuoso to see what he knew.
"I'm glad that state parole finally listened to us and moved them out. We read them the riot act," he said.
He said the owner of the Midtown is Rene Finkas and confirmed the property is still condemned.
“The problem is they built a hallway that joins a brick building with a two story frame building,” Virtuoso said. “In order to comply with code they have to either remove the hallway or fire rate it. I told Finkas' attorney, Louis Berger, that he should advise his client that he should get everyone out of there while it is condemned. God forbid should anything happen, Finkas would be up for manslaughter."
Lastly, I spoke with a second victim of Scott Mayer, a young lady, aged 17, who was less willing to talk about it. She did not want her name used but told me that she would speak about it to try to help others.
Like Amanda, she would break down and cry at times when she recalled certain events.
"I thought of him as an uncle," she said. "He would take us to the store. I was nine and this was someone who I liked. He would give us money if we would step on a live fish, $20, and he would film us.
"I'm very afraid of him. I don't feel safe. It started when he would aim a French fry down my shirt. Then he would rub my boob or my butt. He always told us never tell anyone. He would make us take our socks off and step on live Goldfish. We would step on it. I think he enjoyed seeing the suffering of the fish. After goldfish he would try out different kinds of fish. He is a sadist. Heartless. He would always want to sit next to us. He always told us he thought of us as nieces."
As we left the Midtown, Rick, who had listened to the interviews of Mayer's victims said to me, "I'm sure glad we didn’t run into Mayer."
Why? I asked.
"Because if I we did, I would have beaten the living daylights out of him. You'd have had to pull me off of him to prevent me from killing him."
"I understand how you feel,” I said.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||