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CT: Police want court to restore access to sex offender list.

February 22, 2002

By Lindsay Faber

With news this week that state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn two lower court rulings that deny public access to the state's sex offender registry, local police officials are hopeful the high court will restore public access to the list.

While convicted sex offenders are still required to register their addresses and other information with the state police, the registry has not been available to the public since May 17, when a court ruled that the state's system violated sex offenders' rights by failing to distinguish between offenders who continued to be dangerous and those who did not. A court of appeals later upheld that decision.

In the past, a list of convicted sex offenders living in the area was available at the Greenwich Police Department and anyone could peruse it. The state later took over the registry and put it online, but that Web site has since been shut down.

Now, the state maintains a computerized sex offender registry and shares information with Greenwich police and other town departments, but those local officials are not able to release any information to concerned neighbors or schools.

Police Chief Peter Robbins said it was ironic that Internet-based sex offenses are one of the most frequent crimes in Greenwich, but the public is not able to find out about sex offenders over the Internet.

"It's strange that people can access child porn, and we can't tell the public about sex offenders who live in their community," Robbins said.

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Source: 2002 Greenwich Time