Judge agrees to release sex offender despite prosecutor’s concerns

Posted May 06, 2013, at 5:31 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 27-year-old Rockland man will be released on unsecured bail despite a request by the state to set higher bail for violating terms of the sex offender registry law.

Judge Susan Sparaco agreed Monday in Rockland District Court to defense attorney Jeremy Pratt’s request to set bail at $1,000 unsecured for Clifford S. Mason, meaning no money needs to be put up for his release.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald asked for $2,500 cash bail. He cited Mason’s two prior convictions for violating the sex offender registry law for not informing police of his whereabouts — one in 2010 and one in 2013 — as reasons for the higher bail. Mason also has convictions for violating bail and terms of release, the prosecutor noted.

Mason was convicted in 2010 for sexual abuse of a minor and required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

The current charge stems from him failing to inform the state of changes in his living arrangements. The Rockland Police Department received a complaint on April 29 that Mason was living at the Fieldcrest Apartments in Rockland with a woman with children, according to an affidavit filed in Rockland District Court by Rockland police.

When police checked the apartment complex, Mason was not there and the woman indicated that he had not been staying there.

According to the state Sex Offender Registry Office, Mason had last filed paperwork in December stating that he was at the Thorndike apartments in Rockland.

Mason met with police on April 30 and told them that he was living with his mother at the Thorndike apartments in Rockland.

However, when police checked with the woman at the Thorndike apartments, she told them that she was not his mother. She said had met Mason at a local soup kitchen and had allowed him to stay at her apartment for a few weeks last fall because she felt sorry for him since he had no place to live. But she added that he had not been at her apartment since November.

Police also found out that Mason had recently stayed at the Brunswick Rooms in Rockland but had moved out of there as well.

Mason was then arrested Friday afternoon by Rockland police for not updating his address.

His attorney said Mason moved around because he simply had no stable place to live, adding that he is a lifelong resident of the area and is not a flight risk.

Sparaco asked whether Mason would have an address when he is released on bail. Mason would initially stay with his sister, Pratt said.

The judge also ordered Mason to enter into a Maine Pre-Trial Services contract within 72 hours of his release that would set terms of his release.

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