Sex offender arrested under new ‘Child Safe Zones’ law

(File photo)

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A registered sex offender has been charged with violating a new law aimed at protecting children, and Warwick police believe his arrest is one of the first of its kind in Rhode Island.

Warwick police and members of the U.S. Marshals SOLEMN (Sex Offender Law Enforcement Multidisciplinary Network) task force took Heath Gagne into custody Wednesday on a felony charge of violating the Child Safe Zones law.

Gagne, 40, of Cranston, was previously arrested by West Warwick police August 22 for failing to notify them of a change of address, according to police.

During that investigation, police learned Gagne was working for a subcontractor for a local amusement park company that operates carnivals throughout the area.

Police said they advised Gagne that working at carnivals is a violation of the new law, but later found out he returned to work at a carnival in Warwick August 22 and 23, which led to his eventual arrest.

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