Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin praised today's decision by Superior Court Justice Sarah Taft-Carter upholding the constitutionality of the 2008 amendment to the Sexual Offender Registration and Community Notification Act that any person who is required to register or verify his or her address, shall not reside within 300 feet of any public or private school.
The lawsuit was filed against the State of Rhode Island and the Department of Attorney General by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of three registered sex offenders - Dennis Gesmondi, Dallas Huard, and George Madancy - after the Providence Police notified the three that they were in violation of the statute and had 30 days to find a new residence.
"It was eminently reasonable for the Rhode Island General Assembly to set public policy and determine the need to put modest distance between sex offenders and school children. Parents send their children off to school with an expectation that they will be in a safe environment, never imagining they may be in close proximity to a sexual predator," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "I applaud Justice Taft-Carter's decision upholding the amendment, which recognizes the intent of the General Assembly: to protect young children from sexual offenders."
As cited in the state's motion for summary judgment, State Supreme Courts across the country have upheld similar residency restrictions, citing the safety and general welfare of the public.
Assistant Attorneys General Rebecca Partington and Susan Urso argued the case on behalf of the State and the Office of Attorney General.