February 19, 2015

Worcester's sex-offender ordinance awaits court ruling on Lynn measure

2-19-2015 Massachusetts:

WORCESTER — Local efforts to restrict where Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders can live in the city have been put on hold, pending the outcome of a legal challenge to a similar ordinance adopted by another community that is now before the state Supreme Judicial Court.

Councilor-at-Large Morris A. Bergman, chairman of the City Council Public Safety Committee, said it is his understanding that arguments regarding that residency ordinance are expected to be made before the SJC in April, with a decision likely to come out in June.

As a result, Mr. Bergman said his committee cannot make recommendations in regards to a having a similar ordinance in Worcester until a decision is made by the SJC.

"We can't do anything further until we know if any kind of (residency) restrictions are constitutional," he said.

The Public Safety Committee earlier this week re-opened discussions on a proposal to impose residency restrictions for Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders, as a follow up to a similar discussion it had on Dec. 2.

Mr. Bergman pointed out at the beginning of the meeting that while the committee would take testimony from those in attendance, it could not make any recommendations because of the pending legal case. ..Continued.. by Nick Kotsopoulos

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