BRADDOCK (KDKA) — Robrigo Gilmore, Trevor Dwight Kentish, James Albert King, Timothy Alan Thimons and James Norman Woolheater
All five of these men are convicted Megan’s Law sex offenders, and all five are or were, until recently, housed at the Gateway Community Rehabilitation Center in Braddock.
It’s a minimal security facility in a stone’s throw of playgrounds, daycare centers and homes with children. Mayor John Fetterman has civic and personal concerns.
“To me, not only as the mayor, but as the father of young children that’s alarming, and I don’t think that is necessarily the place for people with that kind of a record to be unsupervised with ‘come and go’ privileges,” says Fetterman.
Fetterman and others had been under the impression that Gateway was a community treatment center designed for non-violent offenders, excluding murders, rapists, arsonists and child predators. They were shocked to learn that isn’t the case.
“I would just hope that Gateway and the penal system would have some protocol in place to prevent such a large concentration of offenders like these in a small community like Braddock,” said Fetterman
But in a statement, Gateway says while the residents are supervised and subject to curfews and drug and alcohol testing, just who is placed there is up to the state Department of Corrections.
A Corrections Department spokesperson told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the sex offenders placed there were paroled, having served the minimum length of their sentences in prison.
They were finishing the additional time getting treatment for addiction in Braddock.
As to questions about whether these are appropriate placements, KDKA was promised a response but did not get one by the time of this story.
Still folks in town do not believe the offenders should be here.
“There’s a lot of children around here. There’s a school down here, a playground up there, parents walking with their kids. You never know what could happen,” said Jamie Perez, of Braddock Heights.
To the mayor and others, it just doesn’t make sense. While the offenders may need drug, alcohol and other treatment, they say it shouldn’t be here in a community full of children.