Here's how hundreds of sex offenders fell off the grid in Massachusetts By: Mar 28, This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. It's a story the 22News I-Team first uncovered in September. We see an agency that wasn't able to meet its mission. It was not properly classifying or tracking individuals who were supposed to be registered sex offenders. That left police officers, the public, and past victims without the knowledge that the law guarantees them to have, as to the whereabouts of Level 2 and 3 sex offenders.
SORB admitted to the 22News I-Team that their system needs to be updated, but said the audit doesn't accurately portray the problem.
He said another part of the problem is a recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling, which allows sex offenders to appeal their level in the registry, which leaves them unclassified in the system while the appeal is pending. It also means there are still sex offenders who have skirted the system, essentially living as ordinary citizens in Massachusetts.
What SORB's supposed to be doing is having the hearings, presenting legal arguments in front of Superior Court judges, and keeping the records. They're job is not to investigate these crimes. We went to a Level 3 sex offender's house who had recently changed his address. His information checked out. Once that happens, police put a warrant out for their arrest.
Bennett said the agency is making changes to fix the problem. He said SORB intends to change its Registry database, to make it easier for law enforcement to find sex offenders who have been placed in violation. Right now, law enforcement can only access the last home or work address they reported to police; Bennett wants to expand that to include all former addresses, as well.
Bennett told the I-Team there are only about 50 people working for SORB, compared to more than 21, convicted sex offenders. Despite those numbers, he said there have been improvements. Since the audit, police have found of the nearly 1, sex offenders who fell off the grid. Levels of Sex Offenders Level 1: The public cannot access information about Level 1 sex offenders.
Have a moderate risk of re-offending and pose a moderate degree of danger to the public. The public can access information about Level 2 offenders who were classified after July 12, This information is available through local police departments and through the online registry. Have a high risk of re-offending and pose a high degree of danger to the public. Information about Level 3 sex offenders is publicly available.
You can get this information through local police departments, and through the online registry.