A sad question, which is the subject of today’s Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Board (Mass. App. Ct. Apr. 27, 2012) [UPDATE: link fixed]:
The plaintiff, who was at the moment of interest a ten-year-old boy, appeals from a Superior Court judgment affirming his classification as a level two sex offender. That publicly available classification required the youngster to register annually with the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) and with the police department in the city or town where he lived. The classification also required him to appear each year at a police station so that police could update his photograph and fingerprints….
On this record, there is no question that the plaintiff is a troubled youngster deeply in need of the services he is receiving and from which one hopes that he will benefit. But the classification decision rested on unreliable hearsay and the application without explanation of predictive criteria that do not on their face take account of sexual activity between prepubescent children….