Massachusetts General Law Chapter 6: Section 178J.
Request for sex offender information; notice of penalty for misuse; data required to receive report Section 178J.
(a) A person who requests sex offender registry information shall:
(1) be 18 years of age or older; (2) appear in person at a city or town police station and present proper identification; (3) require sex offender registry information for his own protection or for the protection of a child under the age of 18 or another person for whom such inquirer has responsibility, care or custody, and so state; and (4) complete and sign a record of inquiry, designed by the board, which shall include the following information: the name and address of the person making the inquiry, the person or geographic area or street which is the subject of the inquiry, the reason for the inquiry and the date and time of the inquiry.
Such records of inquiries shall include a warning regarding the criminal penalties for use of sex offender registry information to commit a crime or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment of an offender and the punishment for threatening to commit a crime under the provisions of section 4 of chapter 275. Such records of inquiries shall state, before the signature of the inquirer, as follows: “I understand that the sex offender registry information disclosed to me is intended for my own protection or for the protection of a child under the age of 18 or another person for whom I have responsibility, care or custody.” Such records of inquiries shall be kept confidential, except that such records may be disseminated to assist in a criminal prosecution.
(b) The person making the inquiry may either:
(1) identify a specific individual by name or provide personal identifying information sufficient to allow the police to identify the subject of the inquiry; or (2) inquire whether any sex offenders live, work or attend an institution of higher learning within the same city or town at a specific address including, but not limited to, a residential address, a business address, school, after-school program, day care center, playground, recreational area or other identified address and inquire in another city or town whether any sex offenders live, work or attend an institution of higher learning within that city or town, upon a reasonable showing that the sex offender registry information is requested for his own protection or for the protection of a child under the age of 18 or another person for whom the inquirer has responsibility, care or custody; or (3) inquire whether any sex offenders live, work or attend an institution of higher learning on a specific street within the city or town in which such inquiry is made.
(c) If the search of the sex offender registry results in the identification of a sex offender required to register pursuant to this chapter who has been finally classified by the board as a level 2 or level 3 offender under section 178K, the police shall disseminate to the person making the inquiry:
(1) the name of the sex offender; (2) the home address and any secondary address if located in the areas described in clause (2) or (3) of subsection (b); (3) the work address if located in the areas described in said clause (2) or (3) of said subsection (b); (4) the offense for which he was convicted or adjudicated and the dates of such conviction or adjudication; (5) the sex offender’s age, sex, race, height, weight, eye and hair color; and (6) a photograph of the sex offender, if available. (7) the name and address of the institution of higher learning where the sex offender works or is enrolled as a student, if located in the areas described in clause (2) or (3) of subsection (b).
The police shall not release information identifying the victim by name, address or the victim’s relation to the offender.
Click here for a copy of a form to request sex offender information. The Watertown Police Department requires positive photo identification at the time of application.
For detailed information about the Sexual Offender Registry Board visit their website.