Massachusetts houses children with sex offenders: Report

News & Politics

Homeless illegal immigrant families with children were placed in Massachusetts shelters that also housed or employed registered sex offenders, according to a recent Boston Globe investigation.

The state-run emergency shelter system used at least five hotels and a dormitory to house or employ registered sex offenders, the outlet’s report stated. Families, many illegal aliens with young children, were housed under the same roof, it claimed.

‘This shouldn’t be happening.’

The criminals were reportedly convicted of crimes against children, including rape, indecent assault and battery on children, and child pornography.

The findings suggest that the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, the state agency that manages the emergency shelter program, failed to vet employees and residents properly. The agency told the Globe that it is in the process of removing the sex offenders, noting that none of them are illegal immigrants.

Kevin Connor, a spokesperson for the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, told the news outlet, “The safety and wellbeing of the 7,500 families in Emergency Assistance shelter is a priority for our administration.”

“We will continue to take all possible steps to ensure the safety of EA residents and carefully review any situation that comes before us to act quickly to protect families,” he added.

Approximately half of the families utilizing the state emergency shelter system are illegal aliens.

In March, a 26-year-old male allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl at the Comfort Inn in Rockland. Both the male and the girl were Haitian nationals residing in the hotel that was converted into a shelter for illegal immigrants. Prior to that incident, a registered sex offender was living and working at the hotel for more than two years, according to the Globe.

Terrence Flaherty, a Massachusetts resident residing at the Comfort Inn with his teenage daughters, told the news outlet that the state needs to inform families about the registered sex offenders.

“These posters of sex offenders are hanging out at the police station, they should be here,” he stated. “There are a lot of kids here.”

Carline Desire, executive director of the Association of Haitian Women, told the Globe, “This shouldn’t be happening.”

“They need to get those sex offenders out,” Desire remarked.

The state housing agency told the news outlet that it checks shelter addresses against the Sex Offender Registry Board twice per year.

A 2019 state audit revealed that the agency did not regularly conduct the checks or alert families when sex offenders were present.

The Globe reported that it is not possible to do a thorough investigation of sex offenders at all shelters because state agencies have refused to provide a comprehensive list of the shelter locations.

Leah Bradley, the chief executive officer of the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, defended the state.

“The state kept kids from dying,” Bradley told the Globe. “The state’s choice was to immediately house families so children weren’t sleeping on the street, so that babies who can’t regulate their temperature wouldn’t die. This was a value choice.”

The state’s emergency shelter system reached capacity at 7,500 families in November. Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency in August over the influx of illegal aliens arriving in Massachusetts, the only state with a right-to-shelter law.

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