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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mayor vetoes sex offender ban in Marlborough

MARLBOROUGH

Saying she had concerns about the legality and enforceability of her city's highly restrictive ordinance banning sex offenders from living in virtually all areas of Marlborough, Mayor Nancy E. Stevens vetoed the ordinance.

The ordinance, which would have gone into effect today, restricted sex offenders deemed most likely to re-offend from living within 2,500 feet of a school, day care center or any place where children congregate. Those restrictions would have banned virtually all residential neighborhoods.

Stevens said the issue is one that needs to be addressed statewide, rather than on a patchwork basis. She challenged city council to address some of her concerns in a new ordinance.

City Councilor Steven Levy, who drafted the ordinance, said he proposed it earlier this year after Marlborough police officers arrested a convicted sex offender from Southborough near a school bus and charged him with lewd behavior.

He said individuals who commit such crimes lose some rights. He noted that Iowa enacted one of the toughest sex offender laws in the country last year, banning convicts whose victims are minors from living within 2,000 feet of a school or licensed day care provider.

Levy said he was surprised by the mayor's action.

-- Meg Woolhouse

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