PARIS – The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office has stepped up efforts to make sure registered sex offenders have complied with the laws.

The efforts started in June, when Lt. Hart Daley started working for the department as a criminal investigator.

He said that before he came on board, the department didn’t have the manpower to properly enforce the laws.

The office handles 54 sex offenders, not counting those that town police departments and state police handle, Daley said.

Most recently, the Sheriff’s Office picked up James Towers, 40, last known address in Bryant Pond. He was booked at the Oxford County Jail on Thursday on the charge of failure to register as a sex offender.

Towers was convicted in Franklin County Superior Court in 2002 of unlawful sexual contact. He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, all of it suspended.

Towers was last known to be living with his brother, Brian Knight, 33, in Bryant Pond. Knight was arrested last July on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

Other individuals booked at the Oxford County Jail recently on violation of sex offender registry charges include: Edwin Howes, 44, of Jay; Jeremy Langlois, 22, of Oxford; Brian A. Morin, 23, of Lewiston, who was transported from the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department; Brian Foss, 25, of Oxford, who was arrested by the Oxford Police Department; David Foster, 30, of Oxford, who was arrested by the Maine State Police; and George O’Neill, 33, of Rumford, who was arrested by the Rumford Police Department.

The sex offender registry bureau in Augusta notifies the corresponding department whenever someone new moves to town.

There is also a Web site, http://sor.informe.org/sor/, where people can search by town.

Lifetime registrants are supposed to re-register every 90 days. Those who are on the list for 10 years are required to register once a year.

If they don’t, they’ll get arrested, Daley said.

Also, each offender is tagged with a set of conditions, determined on a case-by-case basis. Conditions may be that they cannot live within a certain distance of a school or that they cannot have contact with children under a certain age.

Any violation of these conditions would result in arrest, Daley said.

Some offenders don’t have any conditions attached, Daley said. They are simply on the list.

Offenders can also get arrested if they change jobs, schools or residences if they don’t notify officials, Daley said.

Daley said the office has cracked down on the cases because “of the seriousness of the offense.”

When a sex offender gets out of jail, law enforcement officials will identify risk factors. They also do random checks “to make sure they’re living there and make sure there are no kids living in the home.”

“It’s different for every offender,” Daley said.


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