Under Massachusetts’ law, individuals convicted of sex offenses may need to provide identifying information to a state reporting agency, commonly referred to as the “sex offender registry.” Lawmakers maintain that the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry assists their agency with identifying sex offenders and reducing the likelihood of recidivism. After conviction and during sentencing, these individuals will receive a classification level, depending on their crime, dangerousness, and likelihood of re-offense.
The most common crimes requiring sex offender registration are battery, rape, indecent assault, assault with the intent to commit rape, kidnapping, drugging a person for sexual intercourse, inducing a minor into pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking. Under Massachusetts’s law, convicted sex offenders must register with the Massachusetts registry if they live, work, or attend school in the state. Additionally, the law requires that these individuals update their information if they have a secondary address in the state, are moving to the state, become homeless, work in Massachusetts, or live in another state, but attend school in Massachusetts.
The registry requires these individuals to report their full legal name, any aliases, home addresses, and work addresses. Work addresses include all forms of employment, including part-time and volunteer work. The registrant must include their physical characteristics, including height, weight, eye and hair color, and identifying marks. Higher-level registrants must include fingerprints and photographs. Those convicted of federal sex offenses may need to register through the state and National Sex Offender Registry.
The law regarding juvenile sex offenders remains in flux, as Massachusetts courts continue to address the ramifications of branding a juvenile as a sex offender. Although a 2017 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision held that sex offender registration is not mandatory for juvenile sex offenders, courts continue to hear cases stemming from juvenile offenders. For instance, recently, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a juvenile court judge’s decision denying a juvenile’s motion for relief from the sex offender registry. The juvenile argued that the registration violated his due process rights and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. However, the court held that the juvenile court’s judge’s determination was not unreasonable, and the absence of expert testimony to properly introduce scientific studies resulted in the court’s inability to answer the constitution issue.
Those required to register with the sex offender registry may face significant consequences. First, the registration requirements are burdensome and may require constant updates and monitoring. Next, those on the registry may face issues with finding housing, because the registry prohibits these individuals from living within a certain distance of playgrounds, schools, and parks. These prohibitions extend to where a person works as well. Further, sex offender registrants may face losing custody of their children. In addition to all of these restrictions, registrants face an overwhelming amount of bias, prejudice, and intolerance.
Have You Been Arrested for a Massachusetts Sex Offense?
If you or someone you know is facing a serious Massachusetts sex crime, contact Attorney Patrick J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Attorney Murphy has extensive experience handling complex and serious claims on behalf of Massachusetts clients. He routinely represent clients facing sex offenses, violent crimes, motor vehicle offenses, and drug charges. With his help, you can rest assured knowing that you are in capable and caring hands. Contact our office at 617-367-0450, to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.