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Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board Member Brags About Bias

Tyson Lynch is a hearing examiner for the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board; his job responsibilities include determining which convicted sex offenders pose a threat to the community. Yet it wasn’t long after he was hired in October 2008 that Lynch began to brag openly on Facebook, an on-line social networking site, about the “great satisfaction” he gets from badgering the offenders he is supposed to objectively assess.

In one post he wrote, “It’s always a mistake when people testify because they always get destroyed in cross examination.”

“But it’s so entertaining,” responded fellow hearing examiner Mel Maisel. Lynch also referred to some of the attorneys who represented sex offenders as “crazy” and “incompetent,” and said, “It’s always awkward when I see one of my pervs in the parking lot after a hearing.”

Defense attorneys took exception to Lynch’s blatantly unprofessional approach to his new job. “This is not entertain-ing, these are people’s lives we’re talking about,” stated attorney Eric Tennen. “He’s expressing opinions about how these hearings have been conducted, essentially showing that he’s made up his mind before they’re finished.”

Undoubtedly, sex offenders are not high on anyone’s sympathy list. Still, Tennen explained the potentially dangerous nature of Lynch’s cavalier comments.

“If he misses something, then it may very well be that a high-level offender gets a low level classification that the public never knows and maybe vice versa,” Tennen said.

Attorney Terrence Noonan agreed. “They’re instrumental. Those are the people who are making the final assessment of dangerousness. And if they get it wrong, either way we all suffer.”

Lynch’s on-line postings became so numerous and outrageous that they attracted the attention of the media. Sean Kelly, of Boston’s Team 5 Investigates, confronted Lynch in front of the Sex Offender Registry Board office.

“Is there a reason why you’re spending so much time on Facebook? Don’t you take your job seriously?” she asked.

Lynch refused to respond to Kelly’s questions, but in a final Facebook post he informed interested readers that he was making his account private because his agency had become “the subject of too many news exposés.”

Attorneys Noonan and Tennen insisted that all of Lynch’s hearings should be redone due to his obvious bias. The Sex Of-fender Registry Board did not say whether it would review any of Lynch’s decisions or if he would be disciplined, but indicated that corrective action had been taken.


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