Sex offenders who do not register addresses remain free from arrest

CRANSTON, RI (WPRI) – At times in recent months, the Rhode Island sex offender registry included nearly two dozen offenders without complete addresses, despite the law that requires them to provide addresses to local police within 24 hours of moving into a community.

Carolyn Medeiros, Executive Director of Alliance for Safe Communities, is troubled by the issue and believes leaving actual addresses off the registry violates the public trust.

“There were 20 [without addresses on the sex offender registry] in July. 20 in August,” Medeiros said. “I can’t believe I’m seeing a total of 15 individuals [in November] who don’t have valid addresses.”

Among the current group of offenders who have not provided addresses, there’s a Cranston man whose location is listed as “temporary address” without a street or number.

While more than two dozen are listed as living at 30 Howard Avenue in Cranston, the address of the homeless shelter Harrington Hall, other homeless offenders include only the word “homeless” in the address column, without a street or number.

One Woonsocket offender was said to be homeless with “wooded area of East Mill” as his address..

“Living in the woods of East Mill? Really?,” Medeiros said. “No. It’s not a legitimate residence. In fact, if the people of Woonsocket knew, it would raise concern, fear and anger.”

Medeiros blames the state for releasing offenders before they have places to live.

Laura Pisaturo, the chairperson of the Rhode Island Parole Board, said information on the sex offender registry comes from police.

“Local police have access to enter registration data into [the registry] and that database is maintained by the state police,” Pisaturo said.

Mederios said the system should require sex offenders to secure addresses before they’re released, and everyone involved should know where they’re going to live.

“Police, probation officers, communities, should all know long before they get out,” Medeiros said.

And while she believes the offenders could be guided and watched better by the state, her opinion is unwavering on the registered offenders without complete addresses.

“If it’s been a time frame of over 24 hours I would consider that failure to register,” Medeiros said. “I don’t know why they’re not arrested.”

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau