INWOOD — A convicted sex offender wanted for failing to check in with Rhode Island probation officers was arrested in Inwood last week after allegedly groping four teenage girls while saying "God bless you."
Danis Pelaez, 35, approached the girls, aged from 13 to 18, and said things like "you’re pretty, ma," and "you're sexy" as he touched each one during a two-hour groping spree on March 22, police said.
He allegedly grabbed their thighs, buttocks or waists as they made their way to school at Academy Street and Broadway.
Palaez is currently wanted by the Cranston Police Department in Rhode Island for a "probation warrant and failure to notify the department of a sex offender change of address," according to Cranston police. He was previously convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual assault.
The Rhode Island District Attorney's Office is now looking at extradition of Palaez after he appears in court in New York, Cranston police said.
According to NYPD documents, Pelaez attacked his first victim in Inwood at 7:40 a.m., approaching the 13-year-old girl and telling her, “God bless you” as he groped her upper thigh near her buttocks.
Then at 9:30 a.m., Pelaez allegedly approached a 16-year-old girl, telling her she was pretty while he grabbed her waist. Two minutes later he allegedly grabbed the buttocks of an 18-year-old girl. When she told him to “get away” from her, he allegedly rubbed his body against hers.
Pelaez also allegedly told one 18-year-old girl she was "sexy" before grabbing her and pulling her to him as she tried to enter a store down the street from IS 52 just before 10 a.m.
Pelaez was later identified by a victim after police from the 34th Precinct and the Special Victims Unit arrived on the scene and found him fleeing north on Vermilyea Avenue.
He was charged with four counts of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and ordered held without bail, according to court documents.
Pelaez was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and is due back in court on Wednesday, according to court documents.