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Editorials

editorial

Public needs greater access to sex offenders’ records

Perpetrators of sex crimes against children, including infants, already have the terrible advantage of targeting victims who are unable to testify. There is no reason for the state to make matters worse by shielding convicted pedophiles and other serious sex offenders from being publicly identified.

Earlier this month, 49-year-old Wakefield resident John Burbine was indicted on charges of raping and abusing at least 13 infants and young children dating back to 2010. Burbine had been convicted three times of indecent assault and battery on a child in 1989, earning him a place on the state’s sex offender registry. But because he was labeled as a Level 1 offender — the kind least likely to reoffend, based on 24 statutory factors — his name was withheld from everyone with the exception of law enforcement. Imagine the pain of the victims’ families when the Middlesex district attorney alleged that Burbine’s latest crimes took place while working with children through his wife’s unlicensed day care center.

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