Sex Offender Obligation Waived
- Steven Topazio wrote this September 25, 2018 at 7:09 pm
The client, an immigrant from Columbia who became a United States citizen, was charged with Indecent Assault and Battery on a person over the age of 14 in violation of MGL c. 265 § 13H. Indecent Assault and Battery is a sex offense crime which carries a potential jail or state prison sentence plus an obligation to be monitored with a GPS monitoring device and requirement to register as a sex offender. The Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) promotes public safety by educating and informing the public to prevent further victimization. SORB registers and classifies convicted sex offenders according to their risk of re-offense and the degree of danger they pose. According to the police report, the facts of this case indicate that the client walked into a movie theater in Boston which holds 322 people, but only had 14 people in it. The client, who had been drinking alcohol, sat next to the alleged victim who was a young woman. It was alleged that the client walked into the theater with alcohol he had in a cup and offered the woman some to drink which she refused. The client then placed himself directly in front of the young woman and reached down and began caressing her upper thigh and buttocks area. According to the police report, the client then put his hands on the woman’s chest and breasts and continued caressing. The client was thereafter arrested and held on bail. During the course of the case, the client decided to resolve his case short of trial but wanted to avoid the requirement of registering as a sex offender if he changed his plea. According to statute, persons not convicted of an excluded offense may be relieved of the obligation to register by the sentencing court upon motion by the Defendant, if (i) the defendant is convicted after December 12, 1999, (ii) is not sentenced to immediate confinement, and (iii) after a hearing conducted within 14 days of sentencing, the court determines that the defendant’s offense and criminal history do not indicate a risk of reoffense or danger to the public. G.L. c. 6, § 178E(f). Attorney Topazio was successful in persuading the court to waive the requirement of having his client register as a sex offender by establishing that his client’s offense, proposed conditions of probation and criminal history did not indicate that his client was a risk of reoffense or danger to the public.