When this playground opened, no one told the parents about the sex predator on staff
Added 04-09-18 10:51:03pm EST - “A confessed child rapist working as a janitor at a gay-pride center and playground was arrested last week after families complained to the center’s CEO, who said he learned of the janitor’s record in 2006.” - Miamiherald.com
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When a new playground popped up in the backyard of a storied LGBTQ community center in Wilton Manors, its directors hailed it as the first of its kind.
Backed by corporate sponsors JetBlue and Kaboom!, it was designed to be a “safe space” for same-sex couples and their children to play free from judgment or harassment, a statement to South Florida that “our families matter,” as one board member told the Miami Herald in 2015.
But The Pride Center at Equality Park had a secret known only to the director and his confidants: The janitor was a convicted sex predator.
The man tasked with picking up trash throughout the campus and who even lent a hand setting up the playground raped an 11-year-old girl in North Miami Beach in 1995 and was sentenced to 10 years. The girl said he threatened to kill her if she told.
The checkered past of the longtime employee became public only after the concerned father of a 7-year-old boy called on CEO Robert Boo to act. Days later, on March 19 — about 15 years after he joined the center — Clarence Charles Collins, 63, was fired. Fourteen days later he was arrested for lying about where he had lived for the past five years — an apartment about 500 feet away from a daycare center — and failing to re-register as a sexual predator when he moved to the Broward County city. Both are felonies.
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