Officials explain Vermont's sex offender registry strict warning: The Bennett case has sparked a statewide debate over how sex offenders are handled by the DOC, their punishment, their treatment, and most importantly, their supervision.
He has been charged with kidnapping and other charges may be pending. The city of Barre last week passed an ordinance establishing a 1,foot buffer zone around local schools and playgrounds where convicted sex offenders new to the city are forbidden to live or spend time. The online sex offender registry lists three offenders in Brandon. Brickell said there are seven others not listed on the registry, including one convicted sex offender who is about to be released from prison and wishes to return to Brandon.
The registry, which is at http: Many offenders have done their time, received treatment, and have passed the year statute of limitations without re-offending. The criteria for being listed in the online registry include being convicted of an aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault on a minor, having more than one sex offender conviction, or being designated as being non-compliant or at a high-risk to re-offend.
A sex offender deemed non-compliant has not gone through sex offender treatment. Brickell said the registry is working while at the same time protecting the civil rights of the offenders who are compliant and have not re-offended. You have to balance the rights of those people with the safety of the public. Brickell has been involved in sex crime investigation since and he said the new maximum would make it harder to get convictions. They have a long time to build a relationship and groom the victims, then they are technically not suspects.
Brickell said in Brandon he gets roughly one to three sexual abuse reports per month, but not all turn out to be legitimate cases. They are people who, in their professional lives, have regular contact with children, the disabled, senior citizens or other vulnerable people, and are required to report whenever financial, physical, sexual or other types of abuse have been observed or are suspected. They are counselors, police officers, social workers, nurses, doctors, day care workers, and foster care workers.
Brickell said his department has a solid relationship with officials at Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon. Would you prohibit a crack dealer that way? What makes them different? Because they prey on younger victims? So do the dealers. There are just a lot of things that will be issues. Brickell said DOC and the Legislature will have their hands full figuring out how to reform both areas.
More court time, more law enforcement and investigation time, more victims equals more therapy, more medical bills. Is that more than it costs to keep that person incarcerated?
I think we will see the Legislature discuss this long and hard.