"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.
Friday, December 6 2013 11:05 AM EST2013-12-06 16:05:53 GMT
Vermont police have charged a Vernon man for a car crash back in June that killed his passenger.Police say Edward Class, 20, crossed the center line on Route 142 in Vernon and collided with an oncomingMore >>
Vermont police have charged a Vernon man for a car crash back in June that killed his passenger.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:21 AM EST2013-12-06 15:21:30 GMT
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm. Last month, a typhoon tore across the eastern Philippines, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. TheMore >>
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:12 AM EST2013-12-06 15:12:36 GMT
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower. The College Street Congregational Church was badly damaged back in October by a fire investigators say was arson.More >>
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:11 AM EST2013-12-06 15:11:41 GMT
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. Officials say the fire broke out Thursday afternoon on Ladd Road just before 4 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived on the scene theMore >>
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:06 AM EST2013-12-06 15:06:19 GMT
Police are looking for a Burlington man who may be behind a robbery back in November. Police say three armed men targeted the home on Summit Street the night of November 18 and took property out by force.More >>
Police are looking for a Burlington man who may be behind a robbery back in November.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:03 AM EST2013-12-06 15:03:04 GMT
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro. Officers were called to Valley Street Thursday to check on a 39-year-old woman. While on the scene, police say the woman grabbed a largeMore >>
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro.More >>