100-Year-Old Child Molester Back in Jail

New York State's oldest registered sex offender has been put back in prison.

April 19, 2010, 12:34 PM

April 19, 2010— -- Theodore Sypnier, 100, is New York State's oldest registered sex offender and is back where he belongs, prison, according to the director of a halfway house where Sypnier had been living.

"He remained adamant that he was going to continue his behavior of molesting children. As a father myself, I'm glad to see him back in jail," Rev. Terry King, executive director of Grace House, a halfway house in Buffalo, N.Y., told ABC News today.

Sypnier has been brought back to the Erie County Holding Center where he will be held in a 20-person unit for vulnerable prisoners, a source at the jail who wished not to be named told ABC News.

"He shuffles around and no one picks on him other than cracking wise about his age. All he eats is soup," the source said, adding that nobody visits Sypnier, who happens to be a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Sypnier was convicted in 2000 at age 90 of raping and sodomizing two young sisters in Tonawanda, N.Y. It was the latest conviction for a man accused of over 60-years of child molestation.

He was released from prison in 2008. During that stint in the Groveland Correction Facility, Sypnier turned 100, making him the oldest sex offender in New York and second oldest in the country, three years younger than Bert Jackson of Utah.

Sypnier was sent to Grace House after to his release, yet was put back in prison for refusing to attend mandated sex offender classes. He was again released last fall, and according to King continued his refusal to accept responsibility for his behavior and would not attend classes.

His refusal to attend the classes was a violation of his parole and the New York State Board of Parole imposed the maximum punishment recommended for Sypnier: two more years back in prison, Carole Claren-Weaver, spokeswoman for the Board of Parole, told ABC News.

Sypnier's first conviction came in 1987, when he was given three years probation for sex abuse. In 1994 he was given a year in prison for sexually abusing a minor. Follwing those convictions authorities have said in reports that a flood of family members and neighbors have come forward saying Sypnier molested them while they were growing up, although those accusations did not lead to any convictions.

Sypnier's Daughter Is Glad He's Back in Jail

According to King, Sypnier placed the blame on others for his actions, or said what he thought others wanted to hear.

"Depending on who his audience was, who he was speaking to, he would say what was necessary to win them over. Behind the scenes he was a defiant person not wanting to take responsibilities for his actions," King said. "He had difficulty accepting the fact that he did anything wrong."

Sypnier remained defiant even after he was sentenced on Friday, according to King, who said he spoke to the defendant after Sypnier was told he'd remain in prison until he was 102 years old.

"He was defiant, angry that he was being returned. He was attempting to minimize what he had done, and that he shouldn't have to attend those classes," King said.

Another person happy to see Sypnier back in prison was his 58-year-old daughter Martha Juchnowski. She claims her father molested her and other girls in their neighborhood growing up in Riverside, N.Y.

"I am very happy that the authorities are becoming more enlightened about how sex offenders are incorrigible and will never change, regardless of their age," Juchnowski told the Buffalo News.

Juchnowski has remained adamant in reports over the years that her father would never change and belonged in prison. David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, said that very well may be true about Sypnier.

"It really depends on the case of this person. There are individuals, and he may be one of them, that have so entirely sexualized their relationship with everybody and anybody– he may not be able to be a danger to adults – but again kids, he may still be a danger," Finkelhor told ABC News.

King, who frequently houses sex offenders at the Grace House, doesn't see Sypnier's alleged refusual to see his actions as wrong as being unique. But thinks his age certainly is.

"I don't think he's a unique offender. It's a unique case because of his age. We as a society wouldn't want to think someone age, 100, is capable of this behavior, but it's a real possibility," King said.

"It's a sad case. What do you do with someone at age 100 who still exhibits behavior to be a threat? I'm in a field where I want to see men succeed, but you've got to go back to prison if you're still a threat," King said. "There are still kids in this community, and he is still a threat."

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