Latest sex offender information released in Hamburg
Inside the pamphlet there is biographical information and photographs on 29 convicted sex offenders who live in this area.
Each sex offender is categorized in one of the three levels of risk:
• Level 1 — low risk of repeat and danger posed.
• Level 2 -— moderate risk of a repeat and danger posed.
• Level 3 -— high risk of repeat and danger posed.
For Level 1 and Level 2 offenders, a photograph, physical description, his or her name, his or her vehicle information, his or her crime of conviction, the type of victim he or she targeted and their approximate address based on their zip code is released.
Level 3 offenders have all of the above information along with listing their exact street address.
Since the New York State Sex Offender Act — which is New York State’s version of Megan’s Law — was enacted in January 1996 permitting this information to be released on Level 2 and 3 sex offenders, the Town of Hamburg Police Department and officials in the Frontier and Hamburg school districts have worked together to collect, format and mail these notices directly to all residents of both school districts.
The most recent mailing sent out the week of Nov. 22 includes the following.
Level 1 offenders: Joseph M. Blasz, Thomas Burtis, William Coleman, Mark C. Hartrich, Kevin Henry, Michael Holland, Andrus Houck, Gary Janczak, David Kolatschko. Michael Kotar, Eric Oksman, Steven Skibiak, Darryl J. Skrzypek, Kristy M. Vallance and Thomas Weiland.
The Level 2 offenders in our area are: Richard Cuviello, John Duggan, Jr., Scot Friedhaber, Richard Kelsey, Stephen Landrigan, James Lane, David Masse, Sean Miller, John Pearcy, Adam C. Pritchard and Lewis Teed.
Level 3 offenders in our area are: Justin Bates, Jesse Sawyer and James Walden.
The history of notifying the public about convicted sex offenders is relatively new, dating back to January 1996.
That is when the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act first went into effect, requiring convicted sex offenders in New York to register where they live with their local police department, who may then notify schools, depending on the nature of the offense.
One of the contributing factors to this law was the murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka in 1994 by a convicted sex offender who had been recently released from prison and lived near her home in New Jersey.
Since her daughter’s murder Maureen Kanka worked both in New Jersey and later in New York to help get these laws passed.
In November 2006 the law was re-adopted and strengthened, expanding notification of all levels of sex offenders and extending how long a sex offender must be registered.
All Level 1 offenders must be registered for 20 years while Level 2 offenders must register for life but are able to petition a court to be removed from the registry after 30 years. Level 3 offenders are required to register for life.
Previously to the 2006 law, sex offenders were only required to be registered for 10 years.
All levels of sex offenders are required to register by mail with the Department of Criminal Justice Services within 10 days of being released from the criminal justice system, and then annually thereafter.
The DCJS then notifies the local police departments of an offender’s residence if they are in their jurisdiction.
All sex offenders in Hamburg must initially register with the Hamburg Police Department, who verifies the information from the DCJS and takes updated photographs of each offender.
On the three-year anniversary of their registration date, Level 1 and Level 2 offenders must come back to the police department for an updated photo.
“They also have to register within 10 days with the Department of Criminal Justice Services anytime they move,” said Town of Hamburg Police Officer Scott Fraser.
After the initial registration, Level 3 offenders must check in every 90 days, in person, to their local police department.
Fraser updates their photographs annually on the anniversary of their registration date.
“A person can change so much in a year,” said Fraser. “We need to keep updated pictures on them.”
There is also an expanded availability of detailed information on the website of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which can be viewed online by visiting www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us.
Available on the site for each Level 2 and Level 3 sex offender is their name, a short biography, a color photograph, complete address, where they are employed, what their crime was, the age and sex of their victim and their conviction.
Level 1 offenders are not listed on the website.
The website also warns that anyone who uses this information to injure, harass, or commit a criminal act against any person may be subject to criminal prosecution.
There is no charge to use the website.
“We (the police and the school districts) are working hard to get this information out to the public,” said Fraser. “We will also be sending out individual mailings if a registered sexual offender moves into the area.”
Fraser added that when a notification is sent, it will list all the names of the registered sex offenders in the area.
“It is a way to keep the public aware of who is still in the neighborhood. If the name is not on the list, then that particular person has moved out of our jurisdiction,’ Fraser said.
In addition to this mailing, the Town of Hamburg Police Department has set up two child safety presentations for parents entitled “Megan’s Law: Amber Alert; How to Protect Children from Stranger Abductions.”
The first presentations is from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at Hamburg Middle School, 360 Division St. in Hamburg.
The second is from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9 at Cloverbank Elementary School, 2761 Cloverbank Road in Hamburg.
The sessions are not intended for elementary aged children but all others are welcome to attend.
For more information about the sex offenders registry, go online and visit www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us or call Fraser at the Town of Hamburg Police Department at 648-5111, ext. 2232.