An East Hampton man remained in county jail July 9, facing possible extended prison time after being charged by East Hampton Town police with being a registered sex offender who failed to notify authorities of his whereabouts for an extended period of time, which is a felony.
Dennis Walker Jr., 47, was picked up by police at the Lobster Roll in Napeague the morning of July 5. Walker had apparently been working there, spending his nights sleeping on the beach in nearby Hither Hills State Park, according to court documents.
Walker was previously convicted of failure to notify police of an address change in 2011, at which time he was sentenced to one year in prison.
Walker spent two years in state prison after pleading guilty in 2008 to
sexually abusing a girl who was under the age of 11 at the time.
He is classified as a level-one sexual offender. Level one is considered the least likely to repeat his or her sexual crime. A level one offender’s name does not appear on the nationwide open website that lists sex offenders. That list is reserved for level-two and level-three sex offenders and can be accessed by any member of the public at any time.
However, as a level-one offender, Walker’s name is kept on a list that can be accessed during regular business hours by members of the public through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. It is frequently used by employers as part of a background check for employees.
Walker is allegedly registered on that list as living at a house on Front Street in Springs with relatives.
According to the police, Walker travelled to Tuscon, AZ, staying with family there from February 17 to April 24. While there, he convinced a young adult female to come out to East Hampton to work at the Lobster Roll for the 2019 season, telling her she would make $50,000.
When she came east, she told police she found Walker living with two friends in a tent in Cedar Point County Park. The female told police she had never felt comfortable sleeping in the tent, after waking up the first night to find him trying to get physically close to her, a move she rebuffed.
In May, the four moved to Hither Hills State Campground, when Walker began sleeping on the beach. The female eventually learned of Walker’s past, and contacted the NYSDCJS, which confirmed he was a registered sex offender, the police said.
The NYSDCJS began to investigate Walker’s whereabouts, as did the East Hampton Town police. They allegedly learned that Walker hadn’t lived at the Front Street address he was registered at for some time. A registered sex offender is required to contact the local police, in this case the East Hampton Town Police Department, within 10 days of any address change.
After he was picked up at Lobster Roll, Walker was questioned at headquarters about his alleged extended stay in Arizona. His answers are included in the court file. “I went on vacation,” he told detectives. “Less than 30 days, but more than 10 days.”
He explained, “I had a brain fart. I am sorry. I am not a bad guy.”
Walker has an open DWI case in East Hampton, as well as an open misdemeanor drug possession charge.