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Law Prohibiting Dangerous Sex Offenders From Living in Massachusetts Nursing Homes is Unconstitutional, Rules Supreme Judicial Court

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously decided that a state law banning Level 3 sex offenders from living in nursing homes is unconstitutional. The state’s highest court said that the rights of “John Doe,” an offender, were violated with Boston police invoked the law last year and ordered him to leave the assisted living facility where he resided. John Doe, who was convicted of assaulting two kids nearly two decades ago, suffers from seizures and Aspberger’s syndrome. The justices say that to enforce the law would cause the plaintiff to become homeless.

While technically the court’s ruling is only applicable to the John Doe in this case, advocates for elderly sex offenders that need nursing care are hoping that administrators might be persuaded to admit Level 3 offenders into their assisted living facilities. Attorney General Martha Coakley, however, doesn’t think the ruling will have a wide impact. She noted that the current law is important for protecting other nursing home residents and their visitors.

Massachusetts Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, sexual assault and abuse are dangers that have been known to occur to assisted living facility patients. In some incidents, the assailant is an assisted living facility worker committing Boston nursing home abuse or someone visiting the nursing home. Patients have also been known to sexually assault, rape, molest, or sexually harass other residents-especially ones who may be too weak, sick, frail, scared and/or mentally ill to fight back or report what happened.

It is the responsibility of Massachusetts assisted living facilities to protect patients from becoming the victim of Boston nursing home neglect, abuse, or other crimes. This may mean keeping anyone with a history of physical or sexual violence away from the rest of the nursing population and closely supervising him/her. This may even mean keeping a registered sexual offender out of the facility.

Mass. high court says ban on sex offenders living in nursing homes is unconstitutional, Boston.com, August 5, 2011
High Court Overturns Ban On Sex Offenders In Care Facilities, WBUR, August 5,2 011
Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes, Nolo
Elder Affairs, Mass.gov
Nursing Homes, Mass.gov

More Blog Posts:
Boston Nursing Home Negligence Can Lead to Wandering and Elopement, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 26, 2011
Preventing Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Are Assisted Living Facilities Doing Enough When Screening Employees Before Hiring Them?, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 28, 2011
Revere Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Family of Mental Health Counselor Allegedly Murdered by Patient at Massachusetts Group Home, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 21, 2011
Sexual abuse and assault is a traumatic and painful event that can cause serious physical and emotional injuries. If your loved one was sexually assaulted at assisted living facility, contact our Boston injury lawyers immediately.