Bronx, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a residential site director employed by Sheltering Arms NY has been arrested on charges that he assaulted a resident with special needs in his care at a Bronx group home.

Kimara Dawson (DOB: 05/07/1969) of the Bronx, is charged with:

  •       Assault in the Third Degree, a class “A” misdemeanor;
  •       Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, a class “B” misdemeanor;
  •       Endangering the Welfare on a Child, a class “A” misdemeanor; and
  •       Harassment in the Second Degree, a violation.

The charges stem from an April 2016 incident in which the defendant allegedly slammed a youth onto a sofa. The facility is licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

“Individuals who supervise workers at a group home are responsible for ensuring the safety of the young people residing there.  For a director to disregard his training and responsibilities, as this defendant is alleged to have done, and respond by assaulting a resident is inexcusable,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “The defendant will be held accountable for his conduct.” 

Gunning thanked the Office of the Bronx County District Attorney for its assistance in bringing charges against this defendant.

Dawson, who was suspended from his position, was arraigned before the Honorable Kim Wilson of Bronx Criminal Court and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to reappear in court June 13, 2017.  Justice Center Assistant Special Prosecutor Edwin Ferguson is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Justice Center Investigator Nicholas Ferraro

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a statewide hotline which is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week by trained professionals who receive reports of allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents involving people with special needs. The Justice Center has authority to investigate these allegations and may also delegate responsibility for an investigation to the relevant state oversight agency.  An investigation may lead to both administrative and criminal remedies, when the evidence supports a finding that an employee or volunteer committed abuse or neglect.

The Justice Center is also dedicated to abuse prevention.  Such efforts are critical to advancing the Justice Center’s mission to support and protect the health, safety, and dignity of people with special needs. In collaboration with state oversight agencies and its Advisory Council, the Justice Center identifies and develops strategic prevention initiatives. These efforts have included guidance documents, tools and training for staff and other stakeholders to enable them to take a proactive approach to creating safe, supportive, abuse-free environments. 


Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



Contact: Diane Ward, Office of Communications

(518) 549-0200  [email protected]