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Sex Offenders Information
What Is a Sex Offender?
A sex offender is any person who resides or works in the Commonwealth and who has been convicted of a sex offense, or who has been adjudicated as a youthful offender or as a delinquent juvenile by reason of a sex offense, or a person released from incarceration or parole or probation supervision or custody with the department of youth services for such a conviction or adjudication, or a person who has been adjudicated a sexually dangerous person or a person released from civil commitment on or after August 1, 1981.
For a listing of crimes that require registration as a sex offender please review "Who Has to Register."
Who Has to Register?
The information contained below sets forth a person's registration requirements under the law. Please be advised, however, that on November 5, 1999, a Superior Court judge issued a court order that prohibits the Sex Offender Registry Board from requiring an offender to register until the Board offers him/her the opportunity for a hearing to determine whether he/she poses a current danger to children or other vulnerable persons.
The Sex Offender Registry Board has appealed this decision to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). In the meantime, the Board is in the process of contacting offenders to offer evidentiary hearings to determine registration obligations and final classification decisions. While the SJC decision is pending, offenders are not required to register until they have been offered the opportunity for a hearing. Please note that although an offender is not required to register or comply with the law's requirements as set forth below, an offender may do so voluntarily to ensure that the Board has an up-to-date address to mail a hearing notice.
Chapter 6, section 178C Requirements
Pursuant to Chapter 6, section 178C of the Massachusetts General Laws, a person is required to register as a sex offender if he/she lives or works in the Commonwealth and was:
- Convicted on or after August 1, 1981
- Adjudicated a Delinquent Juvenile on or After August 1, 1981
- Adjudicated a youthful offender on or after August 1, 1981
- Released from incarceration on or after August 1, 1981
- Released from parole or probation supervision on or after August 1, 1981
- Released from the Department of Youth Services on or after August 1, 1981
- Adjudicated a sexually dangerous person on or after August 1, 1981
- Released from civil commitment on or after August 1, 1981
For one or more of the following crimes:
- Indecent assault and battery on a child under 14
- Indecent assault and battery on a mentally retarded person
- Indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over
- Rape of a child under 16 with force
- Rape and abuse of a child
- Assault with intent to commit rape
- Assault of a child with intent to commit rape
- Kidnapping of a child
- Enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse
- Drugging persons for sexual intercourse
- Inducing a minor into prostitution
- Living off or sharing earnings of a minor prostitute
- Second and subsequent conviction for open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, but excluding a first or single adjudication as a delinquent juvenile before August 1, 1992
- Incestuous marriage or intercourse
- Disseminating to a minor matter harmful to a minor
- Posing or exhibiting a child in a state of nudity
- Dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct
- Possession of child pornography
- Unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under 16
- Aggravated rape
- Any attempt to commit a violation of any of the aforementioned sections pursuant to section 6 of said chapter 274 or a like violation of the laws of another state, the United States or a military, territorial or Indian tribal authority