Supposedly dangerous Massachusetts sex offenders are being removed from the online database that allows the public to track them because of a controversial high court decision that one judge is calling an “administrative nightmare,” the Boston Herald reports. The Sex Offender Registry Board hearings to determine the risk that offenders pose have come to a halt after a state Supreme Judicial Court ruling last month. The court ordered a higher burden of proof to be used in ranking the likelihood sex offenders will strike again. Hundreds of cases could be affected, forcing the board to warn families. The board is required to remove sex ?offenders from its online registry pending a new hearing.
Some cases, according to court records, include a man who attacked and attempted to rape a 37-year-old woman while she was jogging; she screamed for help and her attacker was quickly arrested; an offender convicted of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl on multiple occasions an assailant who pulled down the pants of an 11-year-old girl and touched her, ?ordering her not to say anything about the attack, and a a man convicted of touching a 4-year-old girl as other children watched and as she pleaded for him to stop. One trial judge, Dennis Curran, said offenders who have been given the highest ranking, level 3, “have been previously determined to have engaged in sexually violent crimes, they have either pled guilty or been convicted by a jury. There is no question of their guilt, based on their conviction. The only question is: Do we want to warn the public about whether these people are at large and unwatched?”