By Jeremie Smith
Foxborough selectman James DeVellis testified Tuesday at the State House to offer his perspective - as the town’s elected official – of the merits for Massachusetts to enact the Adam Walsh Act (Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act).
Foxborough selectman James DeVellis was in Boston Tuesday testifying before the Judiciary Committee at the State House on behalf of the town and the victims of the [name withheld] sex abuse case to implore the state to enact the Adam Walsh Act (Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act).
“I informed the Judiciary Committee of the [name withheld] issue that we are dealing with [in Foxborough] and the three questions that I was asked by [name withheld] victims,” DeVellis said.
DeVellis said the first two questions victims asked him were “how can a member of our community molest and rape probably hundreds of kids over decades without notice or action?” and “how do these victims come to the authorities years ago and be told either [statute of limitations] has expired or [name withheld] is in Florida now and out of jurisdiction?”
“We later came to find out [name withheld] continued on [in Florida] where he left off in Foxborough and as a teacher in Florida was caught doing it there with very little notification back and forth,” DeVellis said. “Both these questions Foxborough is struggling with but it is in the past and I am not looking for answers from the Judiciary Committee on these two questions.”
What DeVellis is looking for is the answer to the victims’ third question to the town, “What [are Foxborough officials] going to do to help assure this can never go undetected again in our town?”
DeVellis hopes the answer includes the Commonwealth enacting the Adam Walsh Act.
“I implored the Judiciary Committee to approve the Adam Walsh Act so our police, teachers, selectmen and parents have the tools to protect our kids in the most efficient way possible with the help of reporting and labeling sex offenders,” DeVellis said.
DeVellis explains Adam Walsh was a young boy abducted at a Florida shopping mall and later found murdered.
- And it was never proven he was sexually abused or that an ex-sex offender did the crime either.
“In summary, the Act, which is also referred to as SORNA (Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act) allows states to categorize, track, notify and in the end protect our children at a higher level throughout the country,” DeVellis said. “Many states have enacted this but Massachusetts has not.”
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