Warren man gets 45 days for failing to register as sex offender

Posted Jan. 03, 2013, at 1:35 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 41-year-old Warren man will spend 45 days in jail after admitting to failing — for the third time — to register as a sex offender.

Jeffrey A. Roman was sentenced Thursday in Knox County Superior Court to a felony charge of failure to comply with the state’s sex offender registry law. Justice Jeffrey Hjelm imposed a sentence of 18 months with all but 45 days suspended. Roman will also be placed on probation for three years.

The 45-day sentence was less than the six months sought by Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald but more than a fine sought by defense attorney William Pagnano.

Roman was convicted in 1992 of gross sexual assault resulting from a 1990 offense against a young girl when Roman was 18 years old. He served three years for that offense.

The current charge is a felony because it was the third time he had failed to register every 90 days as is required. He also moved without notifying the Knox County Sheriff’s Office as was required. The earlier failures to comply occurred in 2004 and 2005.

Justice Hjelm cited Roman’s strong work history and his financial support for an extended family in requiring only 45 days in jail.

Roman has worked for 11 years at the Spruce Head Fishermen’s Cooperative, serving as its assistant manager for five years and within the past few months was promoted to manager, Pagnano noted. The defense attorney noted that a lengthy jail sentence would jeopardize Roman’s job and his ability to support his family.

Fernald acknowledged the work history but said that the registry law was an important one.

“The community at large needs to know that there will be consequences,” Fernald said of violating the registry law.

The defense attorney pointed out that Roman was not hiding from the law. He had registered motor vehicles with the state and was working in the community.

Hjelm agreed but said a jail term was warranted.

“This is not rocket science,” Hjelm said of filling out and returning the forms to the state.

“It would have been so easy for you to comply,” the judge concluded before imposing sentence.

The judge agreed to postpone the start of the sentence until Feb. 1.

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