Golden and Arciero Commend Speaker's Vow to Revisit Bill Publicizing Sex Offenders
If passed, the law would allow the public to access information about Level 1 sex offenders.
In the wake of last week's horrific news of a Wakefield man arrested on charges that he raped infants and toddlers, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he will take another look at legislation to publicize names of low-level sex offenders, and two members of Chelmsford's delegation has voiced his support.
State Representative Tom Golden, who represents Precincts 2 and 3 in Chelmsford, hopes taking another look at the legislation will help increase transparency and public safety.
"My personal opinion is that the public should be given all the information it can when it comes to protecting children," said Golden. "The main word I've been hearing from constituents about this is 'disgust', and that's one of the feelings I have. It's an absolute disgrace that someone would do this to children."
State Representative James Arciero, who represents Chelmsford Precincts 5,7 and 8, believes that the proposed law, which would add Massachusetts to the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, is a common sense move.
"We want to give information to all citizens that is necessary to protect families and keep neighborhoods safe," said Arciero, who spearheaded legislation last year to put information of Level 2 sex offenders online.
The issue is being revisited in light of the fact that John Burbine of Wakefield, the man who was charged last week with 100 child sex abuse charges involving 13 infants and toddlers, was a Level 1 sex offender. Burbine was convicted in 1989 of indecent assault and battery on a child.
The proposed bill would have made information of Burbine's previous conviction public.
“In the coming days, Speaker DeLeo will meet with law enforcement from the affected communities and give serious consideration to the bill in question as well as other options to address these types of sickening crimes,” DeLeo spokesman Seth Gitell told the Herald.
Chelmsford's other state representatives could not be reached for comment.