|Framingham Police survey puts eye on sex offenders||Thursday, January 5, 2006|
|David McLaughlin 508-626-4338||Metrowest Daily News|
FRAMINGHAM -- A Police Department survey aimed at finding out why there is an
increasing number of the most dangerous sex offenders moving to town found
that several came here even though they had no ties to community while others
could not even be tracked down.
At least four of the 19 Level 3 sex offenders at the time of the report had no connection to Framingham before their offenses, according to their interviews with police. Others lived here when they committed their crimes or had lived in Framingham previously.
"It's a huge concern that outsiders are coming here," said Police Chief Steven Carl.
Two sex offenders told police they were sent here by the state's Parole Board when they were released from prison. Another said he came to Framingham on the train to stay at the shelter downtown because the Pine Street Inn in Boston was full.
Police could not find at least four of the registered sex offenders despite a law that they notify the department of their work and home addresses if they are not homeless. Those who are homeless are much more difficult to keep track of, police say.
"When they're homeless, they're registered, but you can't find them," Carl said.
In the fall, Carl had his Street Crimes Unit locate and interview all the Level 3 sex offenders, a population that has since increased to 22 living and working here, according to the department’s Web site.
Carl called for the survey, he said, because he was concerned about the increasing number of sex offenders in town. Three years ago, Framingham had about 10 to 12 Level 3 sex offenders, about 10 fewer than today, said Lt. Steven Wuorio. Waltham, by comparison, which has about 8,000 fewer people, has nine Level 3 sex offenders today.
The report, which Carl made available yesterday, includes details about the offenders’ties to Framingham, their crimes and their addresses, though their names are blacked out. Seven of the 19 are homeless.
Carl said he had hoped the interviews were going to provide more concrete answers than they did on why the offenders came to Framingham. The chief described some of the interviews as "very adversarial."
One man came to Framingham four years ago, he said, because his sister lives here and "told him it was a nice place to relax."
In 1990, he was convicted of raping someone in Plymouth. Since moving to Framingham, he told police he had been arrested "three or four times" for domestic assault and battery.
Another man, convicted in 1985 of rape and abuse of a child, was living in Boston after his release from prison but "was sent to Framingham by the Parole Board after he violated his parole twice in Boston," according to the police report.
A second man told police a similar story. He was convicted in 1987 of two counts of assault to rape and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, a crime he committed in Boston. He told police "that parole set him in Framingham with an apartment at 92 Irving St." He now lives on Kendall Street in a building owned by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council.
Those statements could not be verified, and the Parole Board's executive director, Don Giancioppo, said the agency does not provide apartments for inmates or send them to communities. Instead, they must develop housing plans before they are released.
"We don't direct people to cities or towns. Our process is that the inmate has to have a support system and home plan we approve," he said.
The Parole Board runs a program in its Framingham office called Intensive Parole for Sex Offenders, but Giancioppo said it does not place people in Framingham and serves people living in a large region that stretches from Woburn to Plainville.
The pilot program started in Framingham in 1996 and will soon start up in Springfield, Lawrence and Worcester.
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