By DAN MANGAN
A registered high-risk sex offender who sewed more than I4 years in prison for vile attacks on three Long Island girls works as a super at several Upper West Side buildings — where tenants have complained he has tried to shake them down for sex. The Post has learned. William Barnason, 57 —whose registry indicates one female victim older than 17 —has access to keys for the more than 50 apartments in the three buildings he oversees, which terriﬁes some residents.
“It seemed so unbelievable that someone would allow a registered sex offender —Level 3, a rapist —— would allow them to have keys," said Carol Engle, a resident. “Just a total disregard for the safety and well-being of people.” In September 1987, Barnason— already in prison for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl —was sentenced to 10 to 20 years after pleading guilty to rape, sodomy and sexual-abuse charges related to an attack on three Suffolk County girls between ages 5 and 7. Barnason—who was denied
parole four times before his 2001 release — made other children watch him abuse the girls, a Suffolk County prosecutor said at the time. He was hired by landlord Stanley Katz shortly after his release. Barnason, whose sex-offender designation means he is considered to be at a high risk of reoffending, lives at I44 W. 73rd St., where he is the super and rent collector, a job he also holds at two other Katz buildings — 140 and 142 W. 75th St.
Engle, 43, said that in May 2007, Barnason threatened to keep her $2,000 deposit if she didn’t pay another $1,000 for the first month's rent -— even after Katz had agreed to let her move in mid-month. Then, she said, he made a salacious offer. “He said, ‘If we were friends, I could help you out, and I could pay,‘ " Engle recalled. “I said, ‘You mean if l had sex with you? That's what you're trying to say?’ And he said, ‘Yes and not just once. I'd come over a couple of times a week, and I could help you out.’ " She angrily refused, and Katz let her move in. Engle later stopped paying rent because she said she was being over-charged and is about to be evicted. Another female tenant, who in Manhattan Housing Court ﬁlings has cited Barnason’s criminal past and current alleged harassment in an effort to avoid eviction in a rent dispute, said she would not have moved in had she known his status. “Multiple times, he said, ‘If you want to hook up once or twice a week, I can pay your rent, and I can get you a bigger apartment,‘ " recalled the 22-year-old, who requested anonymity. “I said, ‘F- - - off.’ " That woman's legal ﬁlings say that Barnason, “when residents have been late in payments pressures them to have sexual relations with them."