The Guy Next Door

October 14, 2013

Augusta officials, residents complain city gets more than its share of sex offenders

By Keith Edwards
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 3)

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Bruce King according to a mugshot taken by the Maine Department of Corrections, possibly in 2003. Maine Department of Corrections

Maine Department of Corrections

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Landry and Moody both noted one of the last things anyone — either sex offenders or the public — wants is for sex offenders to be homeless.

Landry said an offender with a stable living situation will be less likely to reoffend. He said prison case workers first look to the family of offenders to help support them as they leave prison, but often inmates don’t have family members there for them. Family members may have been alienated by the crime that put the inmate in prison.

The number of sex offenders in Augusta, while high, is trending down.

Stokes said some ten years ago Augusta had as many as 160 to 170 sex offenders.

In January, there were 134 registered sex offenders living in the city. Late that month, city councilors adopted a new sex offender residency restriction ordinance, which bans sex offenders who have committed acts against children younger than 14 from living within 750 feet of public and private schools and any municipal property, such as many parks, where children are the primary users.

However the ordinance is not retroactive, so sex offenders living in those restricted areas before the ordinance was adopted do not have to move elsewhere.

City Councilor Patrick Paradis said it’s too early to tell, for sure, if the ordinance is why the city has fewer sex offenders, who tend to be a transient population anyway, than it did before the ordinance was adopted.

“I think it was a factor, a real factor, in lowering the number of (sex offenders) looking at Augusta,” Paradis said. “I don’t know why we have as many as we do. But we’re very pleased the numbers have gone down.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

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388 Water Street in Augusta.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy


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