Massachusetts Court Records
Massachusetts Sex Offenses and Why They are Different
In Massachusetts, sexual crimes include sexual abuse such as rape, incest, sex with minors, and other related actions that threaten societal norms and values. For the state of Massachusetts, alleged sex offenders awaiting trial in Massachusetts courts are liable to face severe penalties such as jail time and forfeit civil rights and benefits if registered as a sex offender. The punishment for sexual offenses in Massachusetts varies depending on victims or the use of any form of weapon.
What is a Massachusetts Sex Crime?
Sexual acts of a non-consensual nature are sex crimes. Massachusetts General Laws c.6 § 178C defines sex offenses as indecent assault and battery on an individual, including rape, prostitution, incest, pedophilia, and other unnatural lascivious acts. Victims may as well be minors. Other recognized sex crimes are:
- Posing a nude child
- Incestuous marriage or intercourse
- Inducing a minor into prostitution
- Drugging persons for sexual intercourse
- The kidnapping of a child
Based on sexual crime history, some persons are categorized as sex offenders. In contrast, others are classified as sexually violent predators if such persons have been convicted of a sexually violent offense. Sex offenders in Massachusetts get severe punishments. Sex offenses such as possession of child pornography, indecent exposure, and rape lead to mandatory sex offender registration and prison sentences.
What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?
According to the Massachusetts sexual assault laws, there are different types of sexual offenses in Massachusetts in alignment with severity. The differences in these charges are the circumstances involved in the case. Also, the penalties that these crimes carry may include extensive jail time.
Rape: In Massachusetts, rape is defined as sexual intercourse or an “unnatural sexual activity” against the victim’s will, no matter how slight. Unnatural sexual intercourse covers every other forced sexual activity. To prove rape in Massachusetts, the defendant must establish that consent was not given, and there was an application of force. Offenders found guilty of rape in Massachusetts will face twenty years imprisonment and will be required to pay a substantial fine.
Rape with firearm: This crime includes any rape in which the defendant uses a gun or wields a weapon. The punishment for this crime is a long sentence. In Massachusetts, there is a mandatory five years in prison jail time for rape with a firearm. Defendants are sentenced to twenty years in jail with substantial fines.
Statutory rape: Massachusetts recognizes the i6 years as the age of consent. Therefore anyone between the ages of 14 and 16 is legally prohibited from any sexual activity. Unlike most other states, the defendants in a statutory rape do not have to be over 18 years old. Massachusetts does not have a close-in-age exemption, known as the Romeo and Juliet law that protects two individuals under the legal age of consent from prosecution. The maximum punishment for a statutory rape conviction differs as it depends on severity and circumstances.
Child molestation: Massachusetts has different charges for child molestation, which depends on the severity of the crime.
Rape of a child: Any individual found indulging in sexual intercourse with a child under 16 will be charged. Also, if the crime involves the use or threat of force, there are additional charges as using force in this case also involves the infliction of bodily injuries. In most cases, the maximum punishment for rape of a child conviction is life in prison.
Indecent assault and battery of a child: This includes any sexual contact of a minor under the age of fourteen with the intention to abuse. The penalty for a first offense is ten years in prison or two and a half years in a correctional facility. However, if the offender commits the misdeed again, the punishment may increase to life in prison.
Indecent solicitation of a child: Indecent solicitation of a child in Massachusetts is when an adult intentionally solicits a minor under 18 years old for prostitution or sexual gratification. The crime could be over the phone, through writings, on the internet, or by any other means. Defendants will receive a charge for indecent solicitation of a minor.
Indecent assault and battery: In Massachusetts, the legislature defines indecent assault and battery as any sexual contact other than penetration without consent. Touching someone’s private part with the intention to abuse or take advantage of without consent mostly results in a charge. This charge is only applicable to a victim that is over 14 years of age. The punishment for indecent assault and battery convictions in Massachusetts is five years in prison, increasing if there are subsequent offenses.
Indecent assault and battery on a person with intellectual disability: Any inappropriate touching, groping of persons with intellectual impairment is considered a crime. Offenders are to face charges for assault and battery. The maximum punishment is ten years in state prison, and the minimum penalty is five years in prison.
Indecent assault and battery on elderly or disabled persons: Indecent touching of persons with a permanent disability or long term physical impairment will result in a charge and punishment. Offenders will face a maximum of ten years in prison or two and a half years in a correctional facility.
Indecent exposure: Massachusetts has different laws for cases of indecent exposure. Thus, all types of bad conduct are included in one statute. Indecent exposure involves the intentional act of indecent exposure, public nudity, urination, and indulging in sexual acts in public. Offenders will face at least six months in jail and a $200 fine.
Child pornography and possession of child porn: Child pornography is any resource that portrays children in a sexually explicit way. These materials can include videos, pictures, films, and any other form of media. The penalty for possession or purchase of the above material is five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. A conviction for a second or third time will lead to a longer jail sentence.
Distribution or production of child pornography: Any act of publishing, directing, producing, issuing, or advertising any sexual material involving children will be considered a crime. Sharing child porn by mail, the internet, or in person will result in charges for the distribution of child pornography. Violators will spend at least 15 years in prison and pay a fine of $5,000.
Bestiality: Bestiality is a crime against nature in Massachusetts. Persons found guilty of bestiality will spend a maximum of 20 years in state prison.
Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Massachusetts
According to the Massachusetts classification of sex offenders, there are three levels of sex offenders. These levels are grouped based on the risk of re-offending and the danger the sex offenders could incite in society. A sex offender is any individual that lives, works, and attends school in Massachusetts who has been:
- Convicted of a sex offense;
- Adjudicated as a delinquent juvenile for a sex offense;
- Paroled from incarceration, probation supervision, or custody with the department of youth service for a sex offense;
- Tried as a sexually dangerous person.
Level 1 Sex Offenders
- Possess low risks of re-offending;
- Pose little or minimal danger to the public.
Information about level 1 offenders are sealed and restricted from public view. Information is only accessible to:
- State police departments
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Department of Youth Service
- Department of correction and other county correctional facilities
- Massachusetts parole board
- Department of children and families
- Department of probation
- Department of Mental Health
Level 2 Sex Offenders
- Have a moderate risk of re-offending.;
- Pose an average degree of danger to the public.
The public can only inspect level 2 offender data on the internet for sex offenders classified after July 12, 2013. The information is accessible via the police department and through the Sex Offender Registry Board by SORI requests.
Level 3 sex offenders
- Have a higher risk of re-offending.
- Pose the highest level of danger to the public.
Information regarding Level 3 sex offenders is available and accessible through the local police department and online.
How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Massachusetts?
Interested persons can search for sex offer information in Massachusetts
- By mail
Massachusetts General Laws c.6 § 178D stipulates that the Sex Offender Registry Board keeps an updated and documented file on every sex offender in computerized format and makes such details available to the public. Requestors can obtain details of sex offenders electronically through the Sex Offender Registry Board. The Sex Offender Registry Board only deals with high-risk sex offenders classified under level 3 and 2. Parties can email the Sex Offender Registry Board to obtain details about sex offenders in Massachusetts.
The Sheriff Office or local police department in each county can also provide information on high-risk sex offenders by mail. However, details about level 1 sex offenders are confidential to the general public because of the low risk of re-offense and danger to society. Alternatively, parties can send a mail request to the county court that tried the sex offender to request information about the defendant. The written request should contain details about the sex violator to help the search. Another option is to fill out the Sex Offender Inquiry Form and address it to;
Attn: SORI Coordinator
Sex Offender Registry Board
P. O. Box 392
North Billerica, MA 01862
Interested individuals can walk up to the Sheriff’s Office, local police, or county court in the county of residence to inquire about sex offenders within the neighborhood. Requesting parties must come along with a valid identity card and complete the sex offender request form.
Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry
Massachusetts created the Sex Offender Registry Board to register sex offenders based on the threat the sex convicts may pose and avoid the potential of a re-offense. After five days of the sentence as a sex offender, mandatory registration as a sex offender is required based on the Massachusetts General Laws c.6 § 178E. The classification of level 2 and 3 offenses is made according to the severity of the crime. The board then sends the information to all law enforcement agencies. Details involved in sex offender registration include names, birthplace, sex, race, height, weight, social security number, home address, work address, photograph, fingerprint, and other useful data. Interested individuals can view sex offenders’ details online from the webpage of the Sex Offender Registry Board. Various search options available on the Sex Offender Registry Board webpage include:
- Level of offenders
- Offenders in violation
- Number of offenders in the community
- National sex offender search
- Sex offender search
Other methods to access sex offender information include email or completing a Sex Offender Inquiry Form and mail to
Sex Offender Registry Board
P.O Box 392
North Billerica, MA 01862
For in-person requests, provide valid identification and complete a sex offender request form that involves providing the applicant’s name, address, and reason for the request.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
What are the Sex Offender Restrictions in Massachusetts?
After sex offender registration, sex violators do not have access to certain privileges under Massachusetts’s law. There is punishment by imprisonment or a $1000 fine for any sex offender found guilty of engaging in ice cream truck vending according to the Massachusetts General law c.265, § 48. Massachusetts does not own any resident restriction law against sex offenders to not cause a significant spike in homelessness. Nevertheless, there are petitions to enforce residency restrictions for sex offenders. Level 3 offenders must be 1500 feet away from properties such as schools, parks, daycares, or recreational facilities open to the public.