RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

In 2006, there were several changes to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Law:

  • A sex offender must now provide both a permanent address and any "Secondary Addresses" where an offender may be living when he registers.
  • Any incarcerated sex offender should be classified prior to the offender's release from custody.
  • Certain sex offenders convicted of the crime of failing to register will receive a term of community parole supervision for life in addition to any sentence or fine imposed.
  • Homeless sex offenders must now register every 30 days rather than every 45 days as previously required.
  • It is now a crime for Level 3 sex offenders to "knowingly and willingly" live in certain nursing homes.

Who Has To Register

Sex Offenders Living in Massachusetts and "Secondary Addresses"

When registering, all sex offenders must now provide all addresses including "Secondary Addresses" where the offender lives. Secondary Addresses are "the addresses of all places where a sex offender lives, abides, lodges, or resides for a period of 14 or more days in the aggregate during any calendar year and which is not a sex offender's primary address; or a place where a sex offender routinely lives, abides, lodges, or resides for a period of 4 or more consecutive or nonconsecutive days in any month and which is not a sex offender's permanent address, including any out-of-state address."

Additionally, if an offender has a permanent address in another state but has a Secondary Address in Massachusetts, the offender must register in Massachusetts.

Sex Offenders Moving into Massachusetts

All sex offenders must register within 2 days of moving into the Commonwealth from another jurisdiction.


Sex Offenders Moving within Massachusetts from One Address to Another

All sex offenders must register their current and new address at least 10 days prior to:
 

  • Moving to a different city or town in the Commonwealth; or
  • Moving within the same city or town in the Commonwealth.

Out of State Sex Offenders Working in Massachusetts

Sex offenders residing in locations outside of Massachusetts, but who are employed in the Commonwealth, must register within 2 days of beginning employment.

  • A person is working in Massachusetts if he comes into Massachusetts to work at a full-time or part-time job for a period of time exceeding 14 days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 30 days during any calendar year, whether compensated or uncompensated.

Changes of Work Addresses for All Sex Offenders

Sex offenders must register their current and new work address at least 10 days prior to changing a place of employment.

Sex Offenders Moving Out of Massachusetts

Sex offenders must notify the Board of their new address at least 10 days prior to moving out of the Commonwealth. Sex offenders who committed their sex offenses in Massachusetts, were convicted of sex offenses in Massachusetts courts, and are required to register in Massachusetts, must register as a sex offender in any state the offender takes up residence, works in, or attends school.

Homeless Sex Offenders

All sex offenders residing at a homeless shelter must verify registration data every 30 days.

Level 3 Sex Offenders Living in Nursing Homes

It is a crime for a Level 3 sex offender to "knowingly and willingly" live in any convalescent or nursing home, infirmary maintained in a town, rest home, charitable home for the aged or intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded which meets the requirements of the DPH under G.L. c. 111, § 71. Penalties for committing this crime are as follows:

 

  • First conviction: imprisonment for not more than 30 days in a jail or house of correction;
  • Second conviction: imprisonment for not more than 2 ½ years in a jail or house of correction nor more than 5 years in a state prison or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment; and
  • Third and subsequent conviction: imprisonment in a state prison for not less than 5 years; provided, however, that the sentence imposed for such third or subsequent conviction shall not be reduced to less than 5 years, nor suspended.

Out of State Sex Offenders Attending Massachusetts Schools

  • Sex offenders residing in locations outside of Massachusetts, who are required to register as sex offenders in the state in which they reside but who are also enrolled in any school in the Commonwealth, must register within 10 days of attending the school.
  • All other out of state sex offenders who attend Massachusetts schools must register within 10 days of attending, transferring to, or transferring from the school if the school is an Institution of Higher Learning which is any public or private post secondary educational, vocational, professional or trade institution, college, university, or school.

Penalties for failure to comply with G.L. c. 6, §§ 178C to 178P

Sex offenders will be prosecuted for violating the law if they knowingly: 

  • Fail to register;
  • Fail to verify registration information;
  • Fail to provide notice of change of address, place of employment, or institution of higher learning; or
  • Provide false information.

The penalties for the above-referenced violations are: 

  • Imprisonment for not less than 6 months and not more than 2 1/2 years in a house of correction nor more than 5 years in state prison or by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by both; and
  • Certain unclassified and Level 1 offenders and all Level 2 and 3 offender shall receive a term of community parole supervision for life in addition to any sentence or fine imposed.
  • Second and subsequent conviction: imprisonment in state prison for not less than 5 years.

Duty to Verify Registration Information

Sex offenders are required to verify that their registration information is accurate and up-to-date. Until further notice, they must annually verify their registration data. Unclassified and Level 1 offenders annually verify their registration data with the Board by completing a form ( Click here for a copy of the Registration/Re-Registration Form. pdf format of form_registration.pdf
) and mailing it to the Board. Level 2 and Level 3 offender's annually verify their registration data in person at the police department in the town or city where the offender lives or, if the offender lives outside Massachusetts, at the police department in the city or town where the offender works or attends an institution of higher learning.