• Mass. officials re-evaluating sex offender laws


    WAKEFIELD (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) A level 1 sex offender from Wakefield accused of raping more than a dozen children went unnoticed in the community because by law his identity is only available to police.

    John Burbine was investigated for child sex crimes in 2005 and 2009. This information could have raised his status from level one to level 3. Level 3 offenders are considered high risk and are identified publicly on the Internet.

    Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone discussed the current laws on the FOX 25 Morning News on Thursday.

    "There are limitations and there is a lack of clarity on what you can do as far as information sharing and public disclosure," said Leone.

    Leone says there are no systems in place for agencies to communicate with the Sex Offender Registry about an offender unless there is a new conviction.

    In the wake of the Burbine scandal, several legislators are looking at numerous reforms. State Senator Katherine Clarke says one of her priorities is information sharing.

    Burbine, 49, is facing 40 counts of aggravated rape of a child by force, 18 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old, 13 counts of posing a child in a state of nudity, 14 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of dissemination of child pornography.

    The aggravated rape of a child by force charges each carried a subsequent charge. Burbine also faces one charge of operating a daycare without a license.

    Burbine was held without bail for 90 days, and after the 90 days, his bail will be set at $1 million.

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