The Attleboro Committee on Ordinances, Elections and Legislative Matters voted in favor during a committee meeting Tuesday night to move a proposed Child Safety ordinance out of committee and to hold a public hearing.
The Child Safety Ordinance would ban Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from entering city-owned buildings or be on city-owned property that is considered a Child Safety Zone.
The zone includes any park, playground, recreation center, library, school, daycare center, video arcade, swimming pool or wading pool, gymnasium, sports field, or sports facility and school or camp bus stops which are owned or controlled by the City of Attleboro.
"The new language that is in the current version of the Child Safety Zone should protect the city from civil rights lawsuits because it follows closely the language of the opinion from the recent case decided by the Supreme Judicial Court," Committee Chairwoman Cherie Felos said. "Even though the facts in the case are different than what we would be dealing with, the civil rights issues are very similar."
"I believe that even if we included the Level 2 sex offenders in this ordinance, with this language, we are much less likely to face a lawsuit for violating someone's civil rights," Felos added. "This language narrowly tailors our ordinance to target child predator sex offenders that are likely to re-offend and will protect people who are classified for reasons other than being a child predator."
Members of the proposed an ordinance back in Jauary, but the proposal was for a ban on sex offenders entering the library.
There was on whether to include Level 2 offenders in the ordinance because not all labeled Level 2 offenders were labeled that level for being a child predator.
For months, the proposed ordinance stayed in committee because the committee, led by Chairwoman Cherie Felos, needed to first run the proposed ordinance by Attleboro City Solicitor Robert Mangiaratti to protect the city from any lawsuits.
In July, Attleboro resident went before the council and asked that they bring back discussion on the matter and asked the councilors to vote it out of committe and hold a public hearing.
The committee will hold the public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 4.