A homeless man has been arrested and charged with having sexual contact with two 7-year-old girls on separate occasions in South Ozone Park last week, authorities announced Tuesday.
The Queens District Attorney's office identified the suspect as 25-year-old Lee Samuel.
Samuel made several statements to investigators admitting he attacked the girls, law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York.
Samuel was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Wednesday on two criminal complaints. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.
Samuel approached the first victim from behind last Wednesday afternoon as she was tying her shoe on the sidewalk and tapped her on the buttocks, the criminal complaint alleges.
Several hours later that same day, approximately two miles away, Samuel allegedly approached his second victim and asked if she wanted to play a game. Samuel told her to cover her eyes with her hands and stick out her tongue, then abused her, authorities said.
Samuel was apprehended in Manhattan after a 911 call reported him at that address, law enforcement officials told NBC 4 New York earlier Tuesday. Officials said he has at least 15 prior arrests, including at least two sex offenses.
Samuel claimed he had been staying with his friend in Manhattan because he was having a hard time finding a job and was in Queens the day of the attack because he was looking for work.
The complaints charge him with a first-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child, as well as forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, Samuel faces up to 25 years in prison.
He's due back in court May 20.