"There will be this snarling pit bull posse that's around him as soon as he walks out the door now," said Tom Powell, a forensic psychologist.
Powell says the cards are stacked against Timothy Szad, 53, after a state-mandated public warning went out about his release. The high-risk sex offender will leave prison Friday after serving more than a decade behind bars for sexually assaulting a teenage boy. He will not be supervised by Corrections.
"Every 12- or 13-year-old boy in Springfield now is going to be sheltered and kept off the streets until something happens to Mr. Szad," Powell said.
Ten days ago, the Vt. Department of Corrections notified the public Szad was going to live in Springfield and is likely to reoffend, despite receiving treatment in prison. Officials said his potential victims would be blonde, blue-eyed teenage boys he didn't know.
Powell has not evaluated Szad, but has worked extensively with incarcerated sex offenders in the past. He says
contrary to public belief, only 10 percent to 15 percent of sexual predators on average reoffend. He believes the warning overstates how dangerous Szad is and destroys his support system on the outside.
"If they feel alienated and disgraced and dismissed and marginalized then they've got nothing really to restrain them from their own bad instincts," Powell said.
Originally Szad had lined up housing with Springfield family members, but after receiving threats they backed out of the deal. Corrections officials now say Szad plans to leave the state immediately following his release, but they would not say where he's going.
"If he can't get a job, if he can't have a safe place to live, if he can't have a social support system, where's he going to go?" Powell said. "He's got nowhere to go; he's been basically chased out of town... and people in that condition have less reason to do well and more reason to follow their bad desires and bad instincts... and not be able to hold onto the treatment gains they gotten nearly as well."
Powell says if Szad defies the odds and reoffends in Vermont, his case is likely to reopen political debate about civil confinement, where offenders can be held past their sentence if deemed dangerous.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:14:46 GMT
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street in Burlington Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly 300 dollars from him. Police arrested 29-year-olds Andre Martel and Anthony HammondMore >>
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly $300 from him.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:01:29 GMT
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison. Police say Christopher Bush topped speeds of 100-miles-per-hour in a stolen SUV. The 27 year old pleadedMore >>
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:59 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:59:16 GMT
The Vermont Women's Expo is moving to a new location, the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. This is the 10th year of bringing women together for women-focused seminars and commercial products.More >>
The Vermont Women's Expo is this Saturday in a new location.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:25 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:25:11 GMT
Police say an 11-year-old girl was walking from the Post Office near Chelsea Street Monday afternoon when an older man started following her. The suspect was in a dirty dark green pickup truck with unknownMore >>
Police say an 11-year-old girl was walking from the Post Office near Chelsea Street Monday afternoon when an older man started following her.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-03-11 13:33:32 GMT
Vermont State Police received two complaints about a man claiming to be an employee with the Bennington County Sheriff's Department. Authorities say the scammer told victims that they had missed juryMore >>
Vermont State Police received two complaints about a man claiming to be an employee with the Bennington County Sheriff's Department.More >>