By now, you might have heard the name Essie Billingslea. He's the Boston man accused of breaking into a woman's home in Arlington Sunday — beating and raping her at knife point.
Before the attack, Billingslea was classified as a level 3 sex offender — the most likely to re-offend. He had been convicted of three different rapes and served nearly two decades in prison. But in March, he was released after a jury voted 10-2 in his favor.
One juror reportedly told The Boston Herald he felt sick when he turned on the TV and heard the news. "I feel like maybe he fooled us," the juror said. "I was trying to be fair and give the benefit of the doubt. At the time, we thought it was the right decision."
The case raises many issues about the criminal justice system and how to evaluate, sentence and treat repeat sex offenders.
Dr. Laurie Guidry, clinical and forensic psychologist and president of the Massachusetts chapter of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.
- "A juror who helped spring a serial rapist now accused of breaking into an Arlington woman’s home and sexually assaulting her at knife point lamented that he “failed” to keep the predator behind bars, even as he lashed out at state prison officials for not making a stronger case to keep the Boston man locked up."
- "Even though a convicted sex offender charged with raping an Arlington woman at knifepoint had been deemed by a jury as no longer a threat to the public, state statistics show that most sex offenders are civilly committed even after finishing their criminal sentences."
This segment aired on June 3, 2014.