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I-Team: Documents Show Experts Opposed Release Of Sex Offender

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve
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BOSTON (CBS) – Gayle Jaffe of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center says the system failed when it released Essie Billingslea.

“It is a pretty egregious oversight that this happened,” she said.

Billingslea is charged yet again with rape, this time it was an Arlington woman last weekend.

The 45-year-old, who was arraigned yesterday, had been convicted of rape three different times and was serving a lifetime time civil commitment at the Bridgewater treatment center as a sexually dangerous person when a jury voted to let him walk free in March 2013.

Just three months earlier when his case was up for review in December 2012, documents obtained by the I-Team show a board of experts “concluded unanimously that Mr. Billingslea would be likely to reoffend sexually if released from a secure facility.”

Jaffe says “it is clear cut in that report that he was not deemed someone who should be released back into the community. He still posed a great level of dangerousness.”

On Sunday, Arlington police arrested him on charges of raping and beating the woman. Something the experts seemed to predict would happen in their report. They said: “… he has not addressed the compulsive nature of his deviant sexual interest resulting in repetitive incidents of sexual offense.”

The source of those comments is the Community Access Board at the  Massachusetts Department of Correction. Rape counselors suggest the circumstances of Billingslea’s release create more emotional challenges for his latest victim.

“I think this will be seriously compounded by the fact, that this happened, as a result of a major failing in the system and a decision that should never have been made to release Billingslea back into the community,” Jaffe said.

Billingslea had petitioned for the trial which led to his release. The decision to set him free was the result of a simple majority of the jury. A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections told WBZ late today that their expert recommended that he remain locked up.

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