Vermont community warned: Sex offender being released

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - The state's Department of Corrections is warning the public that a high-risk sex offender who handcuffed and assaulted an autistic boy is about to be released from prison.

Timothy J. Szad was sentenced in 2001 on a charge of aggravated sexual assault involving the 13-year-old boy, according to reports. He was sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison as part of a deal avoiding a trial at which the boy would've had to testify. He's scheduled to be released from prison in Springfield on July 26.

Police and the state plan a public meeting to let the community know about Szad, Springfield Police Department Lt. Mark Fountain said Monday.

Corrections officials say Szad will be subject to state sex offender registration laws after his sentence is served but won't be under state supervision when he's free.

Szad, 53, is from New Haven, Conn. He acknowledged meeting the boy next to the Williams River in Rockingham in May 2000, when he was shooting bottles with a rifle and the boy was fishing. He admitted grabbing the boy, carrying him across the river, handcuffing him and sexually assaulting him, it said.

Szad took part in a prison sex offender treatment program, but the state said a risk assessment indicated he's at a high risk to offend again, according to reports. The state said if Szad offends again his likely targets would be 12- or 13-year-old boys with blond hair and blue eyes.

The Department of Corrections says law enforcement agencies aren't required to notify communities about the releases of high-risk sex offenders. It says, though, that law enforcement agencies may notify people who are likely to encounter a dangerous sex offender, such as day care center or school officials or neighbors in an area where an offender will be living. It says broader community notification may occur when there's a compelling risk to public safety.


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