One man’s crusade against a registered sex offender living and working at a Riverside motel has brought him to facing harassment charges in Southampton Town Justice Court.
Last month, The News-Review reported that Kevin Zorn, 48, of Riverside was so angered by a sex offender working at the Budget Host Inn East End that he papered red and black public advisory signs around the nearby traffic circle. The signs were later torn down.
But the sex offender, 40-year-old Ralph Blasi, has fired back. He’s pressing charges against Mr. Zorn stemming from an incident that occurred in July.
According to his complaint, Mr. Blasi said Mr. Zorn bumped his chest against, verbally abused and spit on him when the men crossed paths at Marta’s Deli in Riverside July 31.
In the complaint Mr. Blasi said that Mr. Zorn had been harassing him for the past three months. “I am concerned that his behavior will get worse and am now requesting assistance with the problem from the New York State Police,” the complaint reads.
Mr. Zorn denies the claim.
“He’s [reporting the incident] to get back at me,” Mr. Zorn said.
Mr. Zorn maintains Mr. Blasi, a Level 3 sex offender who was convicted of having sex with a 12-year-old girl in 2009, should not be working at the hotel because of his close proximity to children.
Mr. Zorn was arrested by New York State Police on Sept. 3 and charged with second-degree harassment. He pleaded not guilty to on Sept. 15 and was released without bail. He is due back in court Oct. 12.
By working at the Budget Host, Mr. Blasi, who lists the hotel as his residence on the New York State sex offender registry, is doing nothing illegal. According to New York State Law, the only job a registered sex offender cannot hold, outside of professions that have their own licensing restrictions, is operating an ice cream truck.
It’s also noted prominently on the state’s sex offender registry that it is illegal to use the information to intimidate or otherwise harass any of those listed.
Mr. Zorn said he is not afraid of possible jail time.
“I have no regrets,” he said. “I’m doing it for the kids.”