• No check of ‘secret’ sex offenders in daycare audit


    FOX UNDERCOVER - Update 3/28: Read the state's investigation of Luray Richardson regarding his home address being registered with the Secretary of State as the same address of a day care center. The Department of Early Education and Care determined child care is not being provided in Richardson's home, but noted it would be concerning if Richardson went to his wife's child care business in Ashburnham, given his criminal record.

    Documents: State investigation of Luray Richardson


    The state Auditor's office checked to see if publicly identified sex offenders are living at the same addresses as registered day cares, but the review didn't check to see if day cares were home to "secret" sex offenders, two-thirds of whom have been convicted of sex crimes against children.

    The Auditor's report looked at Level 2 and 3 sex offenders, the ones deemed by the Sex Offender Registry Board to have either a moderate or high risk of reoffending, but the review didn't include Level 1 offenders. Information about Level 1s is not available to the public because the offenders have been deemed to have a low risk to reoffend.

    But given the number of Level 1s that FOX Undercover discovered committed sex crimes against children, you'd want to know if one's living at the same address as your child care provider.

    Our investigation showed that 65 percent of all Level 1 offenders in Massachusetts, 1,737 out of 2,693 offenders, were convicted of sex crimes against children. But as the public can't find out about the Level 1s, neither could state Auditor Suzanne Bump, leaving the public in the dark as to how many of them could be living at the same address as a child care provider.

    One of the worst cases of alleged child sex abuse in state history involves a Level 1 offender, John Burbine, whose wife operated an unlicensed child care business in Wakefield.

    Earlier this year, FOX Undercover asked Sex Offender Registry Board Chair Saundra Edwards about why the board classifies so many people convicted of crimes against children as low-risk offenders.

    "What do you say to the public that still looks at the John Burbine case and says, ‘Oh my God, what are these people doing at the Sex Offender Registry Board?'" FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet asked her.

    "Well, assuming people are saying what are they doing at the Sex Offender Registry Board," Edwards began saying.

    "I think people are saying that," Beaudet said.

    "The answer is we're doing a very good job at what's being done. This administration is doing a tremendous job. This administration has made great strides," Edwards said.

    "Do you think the person who classified John Burbine did a good job?" Beaudet asked.

    "I cannot by law comment on another individual's decision," Edwards said.

    FOX Undercover did find another Level 1 offender living at the same address in Winchendon where a day care business is registered with the state.

    Luray Richardson was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child in 1998 in Massachusetts. Property records show Richardson owns a home here at 70 Robbins Rd. where J & L Daycare and Preschool is registered with the Secretary of State's office.

    Richardson has said the daycare is not in the home and that the Winchendon address is just the mailing address. The day care is actually in Ashburnham.

    "I have nothing to do with it. I don't go near the place," he told FOX Undercover.

    The Burbine case brought new impetus to a movement to make information about all sex offenders, including level 1s, available to the public. Several bills are pending on Beacon Hill to do just that.

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