By Janee Law
A convicted sex offender was arrested last week for allegedly having sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy after the two planned to meet up through a cell phone application, Suffolk police said.
Police said they found Kieran Bunce, 48, of Melville, with the teenage boy at around 12:10 a.m. Jan. 28 in a car parked in the parking lot of the Fort Salonga Shopping Center on Route 25A.
The two were discovered after Fourth Precinct Police Officer Dennis Lynch noticed a car parked in a darkened area of the parking lot, police said.
“As any good cop would do, he approached the car and observed an adult and a child with no pants on,” Tim Sini, Suffolk’s deputy police commissioner, said at press conference Friday.
After a brief investigation, Lynch discovered that Bunce -- the owner of the vehicle – is a registered sex offender.
Bunce, who lives on Yarmouth Street, was classified as a Level 1 sex offender after he was convicted of misdemeanor sexual misconduct for an incident involving a 16-year-old in 2004, according to information provided by Ronkonkoma-based nonprofit Parents for Megan’s Law, an organization that focuses on the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse and rape.
Police said that Fourth Squad detectives determined there had been sexual contact between Bunce and the 14-year-old.
According to police, Bunce and the boy arranged to meet through a cell phone app, which police did not name.
Detective Sgt. John Best, commanding officer of the SCPD’s Computer Crimes Section, said parents have to stay vigilant. Best said parents should know what phone apps their children are using, who they’re in contact with and what kind of photos are being taken on their phones.
“Different communication apps like the Kik app and any of the social media apps... can be used in inappropriate ways to try and contact young kids,” Best said.
Sini called Bunce a “predator” and said that parents should believe that their “children have no privacy rights” when it comes to the use of cell phone apps.
Bunce now faces charges that include two felony counts of second-degree criminal sex act and misdemeanor first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Bunce’s attorney, Sag Harbor-based Melissa Aguanno, said Monday that her client has pleaded not guilty. His bail is set at $100,000 cash or a $200,000 bond. Aguanno would not comment further on the case.
Bunce was arraigned on Jan. 29 at the First District Court in Central Islip. His next court appearance was scheduled for Feb. 2, after deadline.
Fourth Squad detectives ask anyone with knowledge of people who may have been victimized by Bunce to contact them at 631-854-8452.