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Court: homeless sex offenders unable to charge GPS

December 21, 2010

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BOSTON—The highest court in Massachusetts says homeless sex offenders should not be punished for being unable to keep their GPS monitoring devices charged.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday in the case of John Canadyan Jr., who was sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

After his release, Canadyan was ordered to wear a GPS device. But a judge found that Canadyan had violated his probation by not doing enough to find a job that, in turn, would allow him to secure housing and have access to an electrical outlet for charging the device.

The SJC ruled that that the lower court's finding that Canadyan had violated the terms of his probation was "akin to punishing the defendant for being homeless."