Matthew Matagrano, 36, who allegedly sneaked into Rikers Island impersonating a corrections officer, is a registered sex offender, convicted of sodomizing a 15-year-old in 1996, and since 1997 has been a counselor for at-risk teens, the New York Post reported Monday.
"He does good work and he does good presentations in various schools," said Talib Faran, chairman of Civil Advocates of New York, a charity based in Brooklyn that focuses on helping ex-offenders. Faran added he was not aware of Matagrano's past as a sex offender.
Matagrano was also arrested in 2004 for illegally entering two elementary schools with a fraudulently obtained identification, and looking at confidential files, the newspaper said.
Investigators are trying to determine how he obtained the passes to enter the jail complex on an island in the East River.
He has been charged with criminal impersonation, promoting prison contraband and possession of stolen property.