Concerns arise over downtown halfway house after alleged sexual - KMOV.com

Concerns arise over downtown halfway house after alleged sexual assault

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St. Louis Community Release Center (Credit: KMOV) St. Louis Community Release Center (Credit: KMOV)
Timothy Ates is charged with third-degree sexually assault. Ates allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in a parking garage at 6th and Olive (Credit: St. Louis PD). Timothy Ates is charged with third-degree sexually assault. Ates allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in a parking garage at 6th and Olive (Credit: St. Louis PD).
Shawn Akery, 30, charged for attempted rape in 2014 (Credit: St. Louis PD) Shawn Akery, 30, charged for attempted rape in 2014 (Credit: St. Louis PD)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Some St. Louis City officials say they are concerned about a state-run halfway house near downtown.

The concern comes after a resident from the halfway house walked out of the facility and allegedly committed a sexual assault at a downtown parking garage.

Police say Timothy Ates, 37, committed the assault on March 4. Missouri Department of Corrections officials say Ates was declared an absconder from supervision at the St. Louis Community Release Center, on 1st Street, on the day of the incident.

The center helps offenders recently released from jail or prison transition to living in the community.

Read: Lack of working cameras cause for concern in downtown parking garage

Offenders being housed at the Release Center are allowed to leave during the day to look for work or get treatment, but must tell the staff where they are going.

Seventh Ward Alderman Jack Coatar voiced concerns about the facility and the release program.

“It's bad for our image, it's bad for the victims and it puts a strain on our police department,” said Coatar. “When they are having to deal with a community that is being brought into St. Louis, and we already have so many problems as it is with homelessness, dealing with gun violence, to then have an added problem that is being brought upon us by the state is something we really need to look into.”

Authorities say another offender staying at the center walked away and allegedly attempted to rape a woman downtown in 2014. The suspect, Shawn Akery, 30, is set to go to trial on an attempted rape charge in April.

Sex offender on parole accused of sexual assault in downtown garage 

David Owen, Communications Director for the Missouri Department of Corrections commented about the recent cases of offenders walking away from the halfway house and allegedly committing crimes. Owens released a statement saying in part:

“If parolee violates the conditions of parole, then the Missouri Parole Board has the authority to revoke the parole."

Some officials say they are not sure yet if they want the halfway house to be shut down or moved.

“I don't know yet, frankly I want to see the numbers, so I've asked the police department and Downtown STL Inc. to help compile data,” said Coatar. “Let's understand the scope of the problem and let's address it.”

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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