BOSTON (WWLP) – Sex offenders could be living in your neighborhood without you even knowing about it.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump found 1,769 convicted sex offenders failed to list their correct address with the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board. More than half of those offenders, 936 of them, haven’t been classified at all. That means there has been no way for the public to know where those 936 sex offenders live, what their names are, or what they look like.
Many of the sex offenders who weren’t listed on SORB are Level 3 sex offenders, which means they’re considered to be the most dangerous and likely to re-offend. The audit found 237 of the 936 sex offenders had been convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or older, 177 had been convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14, 143 have been convicted of rape, and 129 have been convicted of rape of a child with force.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump told 22News, SORB hasn’t been sharing information with other state agencies like they’re supposed to. “One of the reasons they didn’t know the whereabouts is that they weren’t using data, which is information that other agencies and government had about the possible whereabouts of these individuals.”
Under state law, SORB is required to confirm the addresses of sex offenders by sharing information with other state agencies, such as the Department of Revenue and Department of Transitional Assistance. The audit, however, uncovered that SORB has not been cross-checking information with these agencies.
Bump’s office cross-checked the information themselves, and found 39 of them who didn’t correctly register with SORB had collected public benefits, which means that if SORB had been sharing information with the other agencies like they were supposed to, they would have found the correct address of these sex offenders.
When it comes to tracking down the 1,769 sex offenders, Bump’s office said that’ll be up to SORB. “We have shared the information that we had with the sex offender registry board, it is up to them to do the work that’s necessary to track them down.”