State's oldest sex offender is to be freed
Theodore Sypnier, New York's oldest registered sex offender at 100 years of age, is scheduled to move by week's end out of a Buffalo halfway house for released inmates after completing his latest term in state prison for molesting little girls. The Rev. Terry King, director of the Grace House, which has twice taken Sypnier in from prison, warned that the spry and active Sypnier has not changed from the manipulator who used his grandfatherly charm to snare and rape victims as young as 4. "Whether he's 100 or 101 or 105, the same person that was committing these crimes 10, 25, 30 years ago still exists today and has an unrepentant heart," said King.
Admission clears man of rape
A construction worker behind bars for nearly four years for a gang rape was cleared Thursday after his accuser admitted she lied to make her friends feel sorry for her. William McCaffrey hugged his lawyer after State Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers, who had sentenced him to 20 years in prison, threw out the case. Biurny Peguero, then 22, had said three men, led by McCaffrey, raped her at knifepoint after luring her into their car after a night out in 2005. Peguero confessed her lie to a priest and then to authorities this year. Separately, tests showed DNA samples from a bite mark came from women friends who fought with Peguero.
Hispanics see gains in education
Young Hispanics born in the United States are less likely to drop out of school and live in poverty than young Hispanic immigrants, but have higher exposure to gangs and violence, the Pew Hispanic Center says. The study, being released today, found the high school dropout rate among all Hispanic youths ages 16-24 was 17 percent, roughly three times higher than white youths and close to double the rate for black youths. But among second-generation Hispanics born in the United States, the dropout rate falls to 8 percent, the same for youths of all races.
Police: Artist's son swiped paintings
A Pennsylvania man used a backhoe to break into a museum owned by his father — pioneering fantasy artist Frank Frazetta — in an attempt to steal 90 paintings valued at $20 million, police said Thursday. Alfonso Frank Frazetta, 52, was charged with theft, burglary and trespass. State police said he was caught loading artwork into his trailer and SUV. The elder Frazetta, 81, is renowned for his work on characters including Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan and Vampirella. He was in Florida at the time of the theft.
Site picked for solar telescope
The National Science Foundation has picked Maui's Haleakala mountaintop as the site for the world's largest solar optical telescope. The $300 million project is to be built on a half-acre among a cluster of observatories near Haleakala's summit. It will enable scientists to observe sunspots, flares and other phenomena too small to be seen with current equipment. Backers say the telescope would advance understanding of the sun. Opponents say it would defile a place sacred to native Hawaiians.