Sex Offender Who Fled with Girlfriend to Mexico Admits Violating Sex Offender Law
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LESTER B. JOY, 40, formerly of Waterbury, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to failing to register as a sex offender.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States and seeks to strengthen the nationwide network of sex offender registration and notification programs. In part, SORNA requires registered sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in each jurisdiction in which they reside, work, or go to school.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on October 25, 2002, Joy was convicted in the State of New Jersey of sexual assault in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child in the third degree and theft in the third degree. For these offenses, he was sentenced to three years of imprisonment, lifetime community supervision and was subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender. On January 4, 2006, Joy was convicted in Suffolk County, New York, of three counts of rape in the third degree, two counts of criminal sexual acts in the third degree and two counts of disseminating indecent material to a minor. For these offenses, he was sentenced to a period of 42 to 84 months of incarceration and lifetime probation.
On November 30, 2013, Joy was released from the Morris County, New Jersey jail following service of a sentence for violation of his lifetime term of community supervision in New Jersey. However, he did not register as a sex offender in either New Jersey or New York, and moved to Connecticut. He failed to notify New Jersey, New York and Connecticut officials of his move to Connecticut, as required. On February 23, 2015, Joy pleaded guilty in the District of Connecticut to failing to register as a sex offender. On May 18, 2015, he was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 27 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for that offense.
In January 2017, after he was released from federal prison, Joy failed to report to parole in New Jersey and failed to seek permission to change his address or advise New Jersey of his new address Connecticut. He also failed to comply with treatment requirements of his federal supervised release. In April 2017, Joy was sentenced to an additional seven months of federal imprisonment for violating the conditions of his supervised release. He was released from federal custody in August 2017.
On February 17, 2019, Joy’s girlfriend, who did not have physical or legal custody of her three minor children, participated in a Department of Children and Families’ supervised visit with the children at a restaurant in Waterbury. During the visit, Joy’s girlfriend was given permission to take the children to the restroom. Instead, Joy’s girlfriend took her children out the back door of the restaurant into a waiting vehicle determined to have been used by Joy in the past.
On March 7, 2019, Joy, his girlfriend and her three children were located by Mexican law enforcement authorities in Mazatlán, Mexico, and Joy and his girlfriend were arrested. Joy had failed to provide information to the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry, as required by SORNA, about his travel to Mexico.
Joy has been detained since his arrest.
Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for January 26, 2021, at which time Joy faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
On October 29, 2020, Joy pleaded guilty in Waterbury Superior Court to three counts of risk of injury, and was sentenced to three years of incarceration followed by seven years of special parole.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Waterbury Police Department, with the assistance of Mexican law enforcement authorities. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Slater and Nancy V. Gifford.