By Liz Taurasi
With the suicide last week of John Burbine, a classified Level 1 sex offender from Wakefield accused of molesting 13 children in his wife’s day care, lawmakers say tougher sex offender laws are still needed.
East Boston State Rep. Carlo P. Basile, who co-sponsored a bill last year that would not allow offenders like Burbine to be classified as Level 1, told the Boston Herald the rules need to change and there should be no secrecy around anyone who sexually assaults a child. Currently both Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders are posted online and information is made available to the public. Level 1 offenders are not included in this public information.
Burbine, who faced 100 charges involving the sexual abuse of young children last year, was classified as a Level 1 sex offender after a 1989 case involving several young children. With that classification, he was able to avoid detection even when a local mother tried to check into his background when registering her child at the former Waterfall Education Center in Wakefield owned by Burbine’s wife.
Last year, legislators filed comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the ways information about sex offenders is shared between law enforcement, state agencies, and the public. That legislation would have allowed the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board to reclassify offenders if new information about them becomes available. The reforms would have also made it easier for law enforcement and the state to have access to information about when an offender’s level of dangerousness may need to be revised.
According to the Herald, bills aimed at revealing more information about these Level 1 offenders remain stalled in committee.What do you think? Should all sex offenders be treated the same? Sex offenders are classified on the likelihood that they will reoffend, not necessarily by the crime they committed.