Timothy Szad, 53, was released from a Springfield prison early Friday morning. He served out a 13-year sentence for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.
Last week, the Vermont Department of Corrections warned the public Szad is likely to reoffend. He was slated to live with family in Springfield, but after much push back from residents that offer was withdrawn.
"If they feel alienated and disgraced and dismissed and marginalized then they've got nothing really to restrain them from their own bad instincts," said Tom Powell, a forensic psychologist.
Powell told WCAX News Thursday that as Szad re-enters normal life, public outcry could do more harm than good. He will no longer be under department supervision. Szad is now headed to California.
Gov. Peter Shumlin declined to comment on camera, but in a statement Friday said: "This has been a difficult situation, and I have shared the concerns expressed by many Vermonters about ensuring a placement for Mr. Szad that guarantees Vermonters' safety and keeps Mr. Szad accountable. I appreciate that the Department of Corrections and others were able to work together to find him an appropriate placement in California."
Last week, Shumlin told WCAX News he would consider stricter laws for sex offenders.
"Anything that the Legislature and we can do to make this state safer from pedophiles, I'm for," Shumlin said July 19.
Twenty states have civil confinement laws which require sex offenders to stay in prison after serving out their sentence if they are still considered dangerous. Shumlin stopped short of endorsing the measure in Vermont, but says he isn't ruling out the possibility of taking it up next session.
According to the California attorney general's office, Szad has to register as a sex offender there within five business days of his arrival.
If he ever returns to Vermont, he would have 24 hours to get on the registry here.
It's unclear where in California he will be living.
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