I've received quite a bit of correspondence regarding a rather prominent sign on Kingswood Road. Those who have driven through the area lately know it well. For those who haven't, here's the situation:
A large, white sign posted at 235 Kingswood Rd. reads "We Live Next to A Child RAPIST" with arrows pointing to a neighbor's yard at 69 Austin Rd. Many asked what the deal was and what the police had to say about this.
According to Capt. Steven. St. Onge, the North Kingstown Police Department is aware of the sign. The NKPD refuses to confirm or deny that a sex offender lives at the residence and that the problem of the sign is a "free speech issue."
Now, a little lesson on state law regarding sex offenders. There are three levels of sex offenders, ranked on their risk to re-offend:
- Level 1 – "low risk offender"
- Level 2 – "moderate risk offender"
- Level 3 – "high risk offender"
Notifications to neighbors and website information about a sex offender is available only to the public if the Sex Offender Board of Review has classified the person as a level 3 or level 2.
And, straight from the Parole Board & Sex Offender Community Notification Unit's website: "No agency, including any Law Enforcement Agency or any state agency, may direct where the offender does or does not reside, nor can these agencies direct where the offender works or goes to school."
Just to be certain, I checked both the state and NKPD's sex offender registry for both level 2 and 3 offenders. North Kingstown is home to four level 2 sex offenders (two of which are incarcerated at the ACI), according to the NKPD's database, and zero level 3 offenders. None of them reside on Austin Road.
To be clear, we are not insinuating that a sex offender lives at Austin Road. We have provided the above information to educate our readers on state laws pertaining to this subject.