Victims of 79-year-old child predator fear he will be set free

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A notorious child predator, who admitted to abusing hundreds of Capital Region children, is scheduled to go before the parole board once again. NEWS10’s Anya Tucker spoke with two of Louis VanWie’s victims who say the now elderly prison inmate needs to stay where he is.

In 1996, Louis VanWie’s decades of abuse ended with his arrest for sexually assaulting two young children. At the time, Troy Police said a search of VanWie’s home revealed a collection of children’s underwear and photos of young children.

After news stories aired, police received calls from more than 100 other possible victims. People like Gary Greenberg.

“He’s the devil to me. He always will be,” said Greenberg.

It wasn’t until VanWie’s arrest that Greenberg knew the identity of the sadistic hospital worker who held him over an open elevator shaft when he was 7 years old.

In 2016, VanWie became eligible for conditional release. That request was denied.

But Tom Mailey, a spokesperson with the New York State Department of Corrections, has confirmed that VanWie is scheduled to go before the parole board next week.

At 79 years of age, his victims fear the elderly inmate may be allowed to walk free.

Anya: “Do you feel at 79 he is still a threat?”
Kayla: “I do.”

Kayla Wittmann was 6 years old when VanWie befriended her parents and then stole her innocence during visits to her family home.

It was Kayla’s courage and testimony that led to his guilty plea.

“I hoping that they can realize his history and the things that he’s admitted to and take that into consideration, and hopefully, keep him behind bars where he’s supposed to be,” said Kayla.

Greenberg spearheaded the Child Victims Act, which reformed the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors, says he lives a few miles away from where Greene Correctional Facility where VanWie was just transferred. He believes the move is a signal that he is expected to be set free.

“If the state let’s him out, they are sending a message that they are putting someone who hurt so many kids back on the street to hurt more,” said Greenberg.

Mailey says the parole board will make a decision within two weeks of interviewing VanWie.

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