QUEENS — Police arrested a 25-year-old homeless man Tuesday in connection with the sexual assault of two 7-year-old girls in South Ozone Park last week, the Queens District Attorney's Office and NYPD announced.
Lee Samuel was charged with first-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with one attack, and forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child in the other attack, the DA's office said. Both alleged assaults occurred on the afternoon of May 1, police said.
If convicted, Samuel faces up to 25 years in prison.
While Samuel's parents live in Queens and he sometimes stayed with a friend in Manhattan, he is currently homeless, a source said.
Samuel approached his first victim just before 3 p.m. May 1, tapping her on the buttocks as she tied her shoe on the sidewalk, the DA's office said.
About three hours later and 2 miles away, Samuel invited his second victim to play a game, prosecutors allege. He told her to cover her eyes with her hands and stick out her tongue. Then, when the girl opened her eyes, she saw that Samuel had exposed himself. He then grabbed her by the waist and attacked her, prosecutors said.
"The defendant is accused of being a sexual predator," District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. "Such an allegation makes him a threat to children and a clear and present danger to society in general. Such conduct, if proven true, cannot go unpunished."
Samuel was expected to be arraigned Wednesday.