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Peabody Massachusetts Weighing Possibility of New Sex Offender Law

According to a report in Today’s Peabody, Massachusetts Patch, the mayor of the Essex County city is promoting the passage of a law limiting the location where convicted sex offenders can appear. The proposal targets child sex offenders. If passed the law would be the first of its kind in Massachusetts. In a nutshell, here is how the law would work:

1. There would be the creation of “child safety zones”. The areas covered would be sports facilities and fields along with the associated parking lots. Also included are parks, arcades, beaches, pools, libraries and recreation centers.

2. The targeted Sex Offenders would be anyone who has been classified either a level 2 or level 3 sex offender by the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB)or someone who has been adjudicated a Sexually Dangerous Person by the courts. Additionally, the victim of the sex offender’s crime would have to have been a child under the age of sixteen. Among the crimes for which the sex offender would have to have been convicted are Rape, Child Pornography, Child Kidnapping, Indecent Assault and Battery, Assault With the Intent to Commit Rape and more.

3. There are some exceptions carved into the rule. Level 1 sex offenders or people whose registering obligations no longer exist would be excluded. It would be permissible to enter the restricted area for the purpose of voting, to attend a religious service and for school parenting activities.

4. Implementation of the law would start with posting of maps of Child Safety Zones and notification sent to the offenders. Violations of the law would result in criminal charges and/or fines.

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Peabody, Massachusetts Sex Offense Defense Law Firm

Massachusetts Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer I see endless problems with a law like this one. When someone in Massachusetts is convicted for a Sex Crime he or she receives a sentence from the judge. That sentence is likely to include a term of incarceration and a period of probation. Once the probation is terminated that person has paid his debt to society. While there might be some collateral consequences to the sentence, i.e. the requirement to register as a sex offender, the sentencing judge assumes that what is imposed on the offender serves its intended punitive purpose. The proposed ordinance essentially adds terms of probation not imposed by the court nor contemplated by the court. Furthermore, a violation of the “probationary conditions” established by the ordinance would constitute a criminal offense not contemplated by the legislature, sentencing judge and district attorney at the time of sentencing. If passed, I can see countless challenges to this law in both the trial courts and the Massachusetts Appellate Courts.


The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. defends all crimes in Massachusetts and throughout the country. Anyone charged with a crime needs to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Our office has been in the business of defending the accused for over twenty years. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or send us an email to discuss your criminal case.