The public does not have to fear all Level 3 sex offenders.
That was the message delivered tonight by Richard P. Sease, a Level 3 sex offender from Grafton, who spoke during a meeting of residents concerned about sex offenders in town.
Sease said he lives quietly in town and causes no problems. He said people might not like him, but they do not have to fear him.
The meeting, hosted by State Rep. George Peterson, R-Grafton, was inspired by concerns of residents over the recent actions of Brian Addeo of Grafton. Addeo, a Level 3 sex offender on lifetime parole on a variety of sex charges, removed his GPS monitoring bracelet and fled to Maine.
Residents have expressed concerns about the notification process and anger that Addeo was living in their neighborhood. They also questioned why Addeo was not in prison on the charges but instead was given lifetime parole, which requires him to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet.
Addeo was ordered to wear the GPS monitoring bracelet as a condition of parole, which he was granted April 29, 2010.
On that date, he pled guilty to a series of charges, including three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and four counts of statutory rape of a child.
The district attorney's office has said that a plea deal was struck in part because the victims were hesitant to testify. Peterson said that when victims refuse to testify, the case against the accuser weakens.
In the legal system, the accused has the right to face their accusers. Residents questioned why children in particular could not deliver their testimony in a disposition or via closed circuit TV, methods the legal system does not currently allow.
Sease said he understood residents' frustrations with Addeo.
"These guys hurt it for me,'' Sease said.
He agreed with residents who expressed outrage that Addeo had been reportedly working in construction and home improvement. They questioned whether customers knew they were allowing a registered sex offender into their homes.
"I don't want this guy in my house,'' he said.
Sease served time for assault with intent to rape and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 and older. The incident happened in 1993.
"I did something stupid, and I will live with it for the rest of my life,'' he said. He said he thinks about his crimes every day but "I paid my dues'' in the system.
Sease served additional time in prison after the 1993 crimes. He said he has written proof that the alleged victims in these later incidents lied.
He said that anyone who has served time for a sex crime is automatically listed as a Level 3 offender when they are newly released from prison.
He said he lived in town without incident and under the radar prior to the sex offender registry that requires sex offenders to register and for their identities and addresses to become public information.
"There are more sex offenders living in Grafton than there are police officers,'' he said.
But until they are convicted, "you don't know who they are.''
Peterson, Police Chief Normand Crepeau and many residents in attendance said they respected the courage it took for Sease to address the audience.
Crepeau also noted that is is against the law to harass, accost or otherwise take action against a registered sex offender.
Read more about pending legislation to toughen sentences in tomorrow's Grafton.Patch.com.