A house, in Coram, N.Y., sits at the center of the largest cluster of sex offenders on Long Island. As of mid-December, says New York Magazine, there were 45 high-risk sex offenders living in this hamlet, seventeen on a single block. This house has the dubious distinction of holding the highest concentration of offenders in the neighborhood–seven of its nine residents have a sex offense on their rap sheet. The men–all of whom asked to be referred to by their first names or nicknames for fear of harassment–don't look particularly menacing, but their stories are: Larry was convicted of raping a 4-year-old girl in 1983, Hop went to prison in 1982 for sodomizing a girl, and Stephen was convicted of rape in 1985. Mickey, 46, also did time for pushing a 16-year-old girl into the woods and trying to pull down her pants before she managed to escape.
In a description of what life is like in a house full of sex offenders is a comment from one of them on news coverage and public policy. “I can't blame society for wanting to register sex offenders. C'mon,” says John. “But I think they should also register drug dealers, guys who do drive-by shootings, arsonists. Let's be honest. There are a lot of things that are dangerous to children. But what scares people is that they feel vulnerable to us. They really feel like they can't have their kids go out on the street because one of these guys might grab them. Because what do they see? They don't meet me,  guys who are living fairly normal lives. All they see is the news: This guy tried to pull a kid into a car, this guy murdered a little girl. This is all they see.”