Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Scared and angry

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.



Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Um, why does the landlord lease to this guy? If you can turn someone down for bad credit or because you think they'll be too loud can't you turn them down because you're afraid they might molest area children?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Clementine said...

Um, yeah. NPN talked with her landlord and he was all, "The rental agency ran a background check." EXCEPT THEY OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T! And now the landlord's screwed, cuz he's all, "If I give him the boot, he'll sue me for discrimination. But the second he does something wrong, he's outta here!" Good going, negligent landlord. Now we have a child rapist living next door. And good going to the police department for not telling the neighbors about him!

6:18 PM  
Blogger Canada said...

OMG, I feel sick. Just the thought of it makes me ill. Ugh. Do you at least know what he looks like? (so you don't have to give the evil eye to every strange man out for a walk in your neighbourhood.) And will he be added to the registry? I think that's of prime importance - all this hush-hush, non-information allows him to pass unnoticed. The more people who know, the better.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Clementine said...

I called the registry to update their database, and if he's out of compliance he'll be cited for a violation. I don't know whether that's a fine or a slap on the wrist, but 'm sure it isn't that big a deal here in good ol' Assachusetts.

I do know what he looks like. He and I had a conversation about Clary B. on Monday before I found out his history.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

Oy shit.
I can't believe there isn't some sort of violation going on with him living right next to a daycare center. Just...crap.
Are you going to tell your kids' parents? I mean, this just opens up all sorts of problems, not to mention just the creepazoid factor. YOU should be able to sue the landlord if this threatens your business...

3:19 PM  

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