The other day I got some news from Not Pregnant Neighbor that might or might not be true: She told me that a probation officer notified her that her new 2nd floor neighbor is a level 3 sex offender. She hightailed it over to my house shortly thereafter, causing my heart to stop beating and my stomach to start churning.
I'm still not sure if it's true since I wasn't able to find the man's info on the MA sex offender registry website. Also, NPN couldn't give me any solid details about the man or about the officer who notified her, which seems sketchy. Regardless, I called the registry board as well as our local police department for more information, and last night Petunia and I went down to the police station to put ourselves on the list of folks who want to be notified of level 2 and level 3 sex offenders in their neighborhoods. I'm trying not to panic, but a couple of things I've discovered since Monday have really upset me:
1. It's up to local police departments to figure out community notification strategies. They're encouraged to notify schools, parents, child care centers, etc. about people who've offended against children, but there's no requirement
to notify those people and institutions. I think that shit should be required.
2. Level 3 sex offenders can live wherever they want, even next door to your local elementary school. I'd long labored under the delusion that they can't live within a certain distance of schools, child care centers, etc., but I was wrong. It turns out there's no restriction at all.
This is scary, scary shit. Folks at the registry board said there's pending legislation that would make notification policies more stringent, so I called my state senator's office to inquire about that. It's unfathomable to me that a level 3 sex offender could (potentially) move into a triple decker that houses 3 small children next door to a family child care program; at the very
least, the kids' parents AND the child care provider should be notified of the situation.
I'll post more information when I have it.Update as of 3:30pm
: It's true. I confirmed that the man who moved in next door is a level 3 sex offender with 1 conviction for child rape, another for indecent assault and battery of a child under 14, and 2 convictions for distributing harmful matter to minors. WHAT THE FUCK?