A Massachusetts man with a history of sexually assaulting children will likely go back to jail, accused of violating parole by parking in a schoolyard in West Bath as children arrived for school Thursday morning.

John Rosa, 58, of Lexington, Mass., has been convicted three times in 22 years for indecent assault and battery on a child younger than 14. He is classified by the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board as a high-risk sex offender.

He had no permission to be in Maine, though he has been allowed to come to the state in the past for his job as a vending machine repairman.

Rosa’s parole forbids him from having contact with children, and he wears an electronic monitoring device on an ankle. The device keeps a record of his movements but does not alert authorities when he leaves the state, according to a Massachusetts parole official.

The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office said a student’s grandfather alerted sheriff’s deputies to Rosa’s presence in West Bath.

“We know how the situation turned out. There is the possibility it could have turned out a lot worse,” said Chief Deputy Brett Strout. “We’re thankful this grandparent made the phone call.”

The grandfather dropped off a child at West Bath School on Thursday morning and became suspicious of Rosa, who was parked at the exit of the drop-off area, impeding traffic, said Sheriff Joel Merry.

When the grandfather questioned him, Rosa said he was looking for West Bath District Court. That made the grandfather more suspicious, because Rosa would have had to drive past the courthouse, and its large sign, about a half-mile away to get to the school.

The man notified the sheriff’s office, and Deputy Steve Thibeault found Rosa a few minutes later at the courthouse. Rosa said he was appearing for court in connection with a speeding ticket, which he got in October.

Matt Fournier, communications officer for the sheriff’s office, tracked down Rosa’s parole officer in Massachusetts and learned that Rosa was barred from being around children because of his criminal history.

Rosa was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child younger than 14 in 1980, in 1988 and again in 2002.

He was released from prison and put on parole in July of 2010, said Steve Kelly, a parole supervisor in Framingham, Mass. Rosa is on parole for life.

Rosa was arrested without incident at the courthouse in West Bath after Massachusetts issued a warrant. He was taken to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

Via video from the jail, Rosa appeared in Belfast District Court on Thursday for arraignment on a fugitive-from-justice charge. He agreed to return to Massachusetts to face a charge of violating parole.

Rosa was not charged with any new crime, though being in the presence of children is a technical violation of the terms of his parole. Kelly said the punishment for a first-time technical violation is typically 30 days in jail.

“One thing that will change drastically is, he won’t have out-of-state travel authorization to do business anymore,” said Kelly.

While the sex offender registry lists him as working in Boston, Burlington and Watertown, Mass., Rosa had permission to travel to Maine for work repairing vending machines, Kelly said. However, he did not have permission to go to Maine on Thursday in connection with the speeding ticket.

Rosa’s ankle bracelet, which keeps a record of his movements, will be used by Maine authorities to determine how long Rosa was at the school, said Strout, the chief deputy.

For more information about Rosa’s record in Massachusetts, go to: http://bit.ly/vZWDnE

 


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