MD Finds Hundreds Of Gaps In Sex Offender Database


Nearly one in five Maryland sex offenders might not live at the addresses listed for them in the state registry designed to inform communities of rapists, child predators, and other such criminals in their midst, the Baltimore Sun reports. The problems in accounting for the more than 4,300 offenders in the online database were illustrated this week when the address listed for a convicted rapist who is accused of killing his 13-year-old stepdaughter was found to be misspelled and unconfirmed. David P. Wolinski, the official in charge of the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, said that, “these things need to be followed up better.”

Addresses are reported by the offenders. Though the penalty for failing to provide a valid address carries a possible prison term, the office in charge of maintaining the registry has no authority to investigate violations. Maryland’s registry received an A+ rating this year from Parents for Megan’s Law, a national advocacy group. Charles Olney of the Center for Sex Offender Management, said, “Accuracy is a problem everywhere. I don’t think these databases are worthless, but it is important to note that most sex offenses are committed by people known to the victim, not strangers.”


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