Last week, the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office's Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU) met with local law enforcement officials. According to the DA's office, the meeting, headed by the unit's coordinator Kimberly Squier, was attended by representatives from local police departments, Massachusetts State Police, Superior and District Court Probation Departments, the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office, the state Department of Correction and the state Sex Offender Registry Board. As homeless sex offenders are of primary concern, representatives of the Housing Assistance Corporation were also present.
During the meeting, current sex offender laws were reviewed including those specific to homeless sex offenders. The group also discussed the continued need for and development of public education and community awareness, according to a release from the DA's office.
"My office remains committed to the coordination and administration of a uniform protocol for sex offender management in the Cape and Islands," said District Attorney Michael O'Keefe.
The issue of homeless sex offenders came to the forefront last month when Yarmouth police published a photograph of a registered Level 3 sex offender's white school bus. John J. Stangl had registered as a Level 3 sex offender on November 3, then reportedly moved to Hyannis the next day. Through the month, Stangl's bus with "God Bus" emblazoned across the back was seen parked in communities both on and off the Cape. On November 19 Taunton police towed the vehicle. Stangl, according to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) is currently registered as homeless and living in Hyannis.
In Massachusetts, there are three levels of sex offenders. The SORB website allows the public to search for information regarding Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. The board designates Level 3 sex offenders as being most likely to re-offend and are therefore considered a greater risk to the community. Level 2 sex offenders are considered a moderate risk to re-offend. SORB and the police are not permitted to disseminate information to the public about Level 1 sex offenders. For more information about sex offender classification, visit the SORB website here.
As of December 9, there are currently 297 Level 2 sex offenders and 80 Level 3 sex offenders living/working on Cape Cod. The highest concentration of sex offenders are in the towns of Barnstable and Yarmouth. Truro has the lowest number of sex offenders.