Everyday across our country, sex-offenders are released from prison. But few spark the warning that Timothy Szad has.
Vermont is set to release Szad from prison Friday after he's served his full sentence for sexual assault. Authorities say there is a chance that he will reoffend, so they are taking the unusual step of warning parents of young boys with blond hair and blue eyes.
The press release says: "[Szad] was designated high risk based upon scoring in the high range on a sex offender risk assessment tool." It goes on to warn "His likely victims if he were to reoffend would be male strangers between the ages of 12 and 13, in particular those with blond hair and blue eyes."
Timothy Szad's described as:
Szad has been in prison for the 2001 attack of a 13-year-old boy. Szad saw the boy playing in the Vermont woods, grabbed him, tied him up and sexually assaulted him. The Burlington Free Press reports that Szad got the 7 to 20 year sentence as a plea deal so the victim would not have to testify in court.
Vermont authorities say the original plan was for Szad to go to a home in Springfield, but outcry from neighbors has stopped that. Now, prison officials say that Szad will be taken to another state and that local authorities there will be alerted.
Federal law called The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act allows the federal prison system to hold sex offenders after their sentence if it is ruled they could still pose a threat to society. But, that only applies to federal prisoners.
On the state level, it's up to individual legislatures to grant prisons and judges that power. Vermont does not do that.