Wapello Street Residents Respond to Their LAT Neighbor

hongshot.jpgLast month, LAT reporter Peter Hong wrote about interviewing the friendly neighborhood child molester.

We praised the piece for being balanced and brave. His neighbors have a different opinion. In an e-mail they sent us yesterday, Hong’s neighbors say Hong left out a few important points.

To wit:

So many opinions, the facts failed to make it to print

Wapello Street Residents respond to the December 5, 2006 article, “On his block, a molester” by Peter Y. Hong, Times Staff Writer

While we appreciate Peter Hong’s article for shedding light on our neighborhood’s ordeal, we are dismayed that crucial facts didn’t make it to print, or were misrepresented altogether. We make no apologies for taking steps, within the law, to protect our children from convicted pedophiles.

The article states that Michael Miletti “was” a child molester. How about “is” a convicted, incestuous child molester? Regardless, we feel LA Times readers must know the following:

· Children were invited to Miletti’s home without their parents being informed he is a convicted pedophile.
· Children did, in fact, visit Miletti’s house on multiple occasions.
· In the article, Miletti states that he is not “generally” attracted to children.
· Miletti previously worked for LA Unified School District, demonstrating a pattern of selecting employment that requires him to be near children.
· Did not properly register pursuant to Megan’s Law. He circumvented the law by using his father’s Sunland address for over a year, when in fact; he was residing almost exclusively at his wife’s address in Altadena.

In addition, the article identifies us as “anti-Miletti organizers” — That we are not. We are opposed to convicted pedophiles living in our neighborhood illegally. As Hong correctly noted, we have consulted repeatedly with the Sheriff’s Department to make sure we are staying within the law. Just the same, we feel the article sought to portray us, through quotes of those not involved in our efforts, as zealots and vigilantes bent on taking the law into our own hands. This is simply not true.

As far as the heated exchange Joseph Llorens and Erik Hargrave had with Miletti, it was reported that Llorens and Hargrave “felt” Miletti was trying to bait them into hitting him. That is not true. Miletti specifically taunted Llorens and Hargrave by stating, “hit me” twice during the exchange. Hong also failed to note that the entire altercation was the result of Miletti’s wife tearing down signs on private property.

The article implies that the Megan’s Law database has instilled unwarranted fear and resentment towards Miletti. Again, this is not true… Our outrage stems from the fact that Miletti illegally lived among us for over a year without properly registering. More appalling, children were invited to the home without informing the parents of his criminal past. We stated this repeatedly to Hong during each of our interviews and put him in touch with neighbors that can confirm our assertion. For reasons unknown, Hong declared this fact unsubstantiated.

In closing, we feel Miletti is a continuing threat to our children. He has repeatedly shown a pattern of deception and his mea culpa is disingenuous at best. According to court transcripts, Miletti had sexual relations with his daughter for 10 YEARS and served only 3 years of a 6-year sentence. This was not a one-time occurrence, an accident or a mistake. He had, as Miletti claims, “a codependent thing” with his daughter.

We, Michael Miletti’s reluctant neighbors, find that statement nauseating.

Wapello Street Residents