Most Massachusetts sex convicts are not releasedAP , Associated Press
Jun. 4, 2014 12:09 PM ET
BOSTON (AP) — The rape of an Arlington woman this week and revelation that the suspect, a convicted sex offender, had been deemed by a jury as no longer a threat to the public led to outrage, but state statistics show that most sex offenders who have finished their criminal sentences continue to be detained.
Between 2010 and 2012, juries and judges sent 57 of the 83 convicts who sought release back to civil detention for treatment, even though their sentences were up, The Boston Globe reported (http://bit.ly/TcywYZ ), citing figures from the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.
Essie Billingslea, 45, is charged with breaking into the woman's home Sunday and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint. He was caught by police fleeing the scene. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Friday. Billingslea is a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most likely to re-offend, for prior sexual assaults on children.
Last year, a Suffolk County jury decided 12-2 that Billingslea no longer posed a threat to the public.
A spokesman for the Department of Correction, whose lawyers fought against Billingslea's release, issued a statement defending the legal team's efforts in court. Darren Duarte said the agency presented testimony from two forensic psychologists who said he still posed a danger to the public.
"These facts, we believe, coupled with his vicious criminal, sexual assault history warranted a different decision than the jury handed down," Duarte said.
Billingslea's attorney presented the testimony of three psychologists, including one who found that Billingslea did not meet the criteria of a sexually dangerous person, but cautioned that if he were released, Billingslea would have to be monitored closely and continue treatment.
Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com