Vermont residents are becoming increasingly concerned about the release of a sex offender who is thought to be so dangerous that locals are specifically being warned that blue-eyed, blond-haired boys of 12 or 13 could be in danger.
Timothy J. Szad was planning to move in with his parents in Springfield, but that may change. Szad, 53, will be freed from Southern State Correctional Facility on Friday.
Szad was sentenced in 2001 for aggravated sexual assault against a 13-year-old boy. Several states have a "civil commitment" law that can keep sex offenders who are considered a danger to the public in jail after their sentences have been served. Vermont is not one of those states.
State Rep. Alice Emmons chairs the House committee that oversees Vermont's prisons. She opposes civil commitment laws. "You're holding someone who has not committed a (new) crime. Do we as a society in Vermont want to do that?" she asked.
"It's terrible they're letting him out. Once a pedophile, always a pedophile," said Jaime Hooper.
Allen Gilbert, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Vermont chapter, believes the public needs to accept that sex offenders like Szad will be released.
"We live in a society that operates by the rule of law," Gilbert said. "Courts have determined the appropriate sentence for him, he's served his sentence, and now he's getting out."
Szad only has no inform the state sex offender registry of where he is living to avoid going back to jail, Fox News reported. He will not be on parole.
The notification of Szad's release has caused such public outcry that he will likely have a hard time finding housing now that his parents have closed their door to him. Regardless, his release is "going to happen one way or the other, whether he's homeless or they have a place for him," said Police Chief Douglas Johnston.