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Report: Senate GOP To File Bill In Response To Burbine Case

Fox 25 Report says Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr will introduce bill Friday aimed at closing loopholes in sex offender registration system. Back in December, State Senator Katherine Clark raised some similar ideas.

As promised last month after news of the John Burbine sex abuse case first broke, state lawmakers plan to introdue a bill aimed at closing loopholes in the sex offender registration system.

A Thursday, Jan. 17 report on MyFoxBoston says that State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr will introduce a bill on Friday, Jan. 18 that would allow all Level 1 sex offender information to be made public. It would also allow an offender to be reclassified if new information came up about them. Currently, only personal details and photos for Level 3 offenders are made public. 

The article also quotes Wakefield Police Chief Rick Smith as saying that he supports the previously mentioned items, while also citing the need for better inter-agency communication.

In December, soon after Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone announced 100 child sex abuse charges against Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, State Senator Katherine Clark, who represents the town, told Wakefield Patch that she supports creating an option to reclassify sex offenders if necessary - although she also emphasized the importance of making sure that such measures are undertaken very carefully. Chief Smith told Wakefield Patch that same day that he had contacted the offices of Clark and Donald Wong requesting action on the sex offender registration system.

Tarr also weighed in on the matter back then, vowing legislation action during the new session.

The Burbine case quickly led to scrutiny of the registration system because he himself had been classified as Level 1 - which under current laws all but made him invisible to anybody who thought to check up on him. In fact, one local mom told Wakefield Patch back in December that she did indeed try to look into Burbine's background when he was working at his wife's unregistered daycare center, the Waterfall Education Center.

Burbine's wife, Marian, remains under house arrest in Wakefield pending her own charges of six counts of reckless endangerment of a child.

Mrs. Burbine has a motion to dismiss coming up in February, while her husband's next court appearance is expected later in the spring.

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