The state Appeals Court rules homeless sex offenders not living in a shelter still need to register with police once a year.
Being homeless is no defense when it comes to failing to register as a sex offender, the state Appeals Court ruled Thursday.
The court, in a case involving a Taunton man, ruled that sex offenders who are homeless still have to register with local police departments at least once a year.
Stephen J. Scipione Jr. of Taunton was convicted in 2004 in district court of failure to register as a sex offender.
He argued that since he was homeless and wasn't living in a homeless shelter he wasn't required to register as a sex offender with police, a claim the court Thursday strongly rejected.
"While the statute states that a level two or three sex offender living in a homeless shelter is required to register every 90 days, the fact that the statute does not particularly state when homeless sex offenders not living in a homeless shelter should register does not nullify the defendant's registration requirement," the appeals court found.
The court noted that sex offenders living in homeless shelters must register every 90 days and all Level 2 and 3 offenders must register with local police yearly.
Scipione was aware of the rules because he had registered with local police before, the court noted.
"As the record shows that the defendant voluntarily registered twice before the underlying complaint was brought, it may be fairly inferred that he was aware of the registration process and his duty to register as a sex offender," the court found. "At the very least, the defendant was required to register annually. Therefore, having failed to do so (for more than two years), he was properly convicted."
Scipione, 37, was convicted in 1994 of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older.
He is listed on the state Sex Offender Registry Web site as homeless and lists his work address as 17 Trescott St., Taunton. There are three different businesses at that address.