CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A registered sex offender who’s presence sparked protests in Providence’s Washington Park neighborhood has moved to an undisclosed location in Cranston.
Cranston’s police chief, Col. Michael Winquist, confirmed Richard Gardner registered his address with the Cranston Police Department on Nov. 1 as required by law.
Gardner is an unclassified sex offender because his case pre-dates Megan’s law and Winquist said, “the police department is not permitted to make a community notification or publicly disclose his address.”
Gardner, 52, who was convicted of sexually assaulting children in Warwick and Massachusetts in the late 1980s, was released from prison last October. Even though police were not allowed to publically release his address, the information got out, sparking several meetings and protests in his neighborhood. There were also at least two incidences of vandalism at Gardner’s New York Avenue home.
Winquist said his department is working with the Rhode Island Department of Probation and Parole, which is responsible for monitoring Gardner and making sure he’s complying with the terms of his probation.
“We will stay in close communication with representatives from that agency and assist in providing them any resources they may need. The Cranston Police Department will also ensure that Mr. Gardner remains in compliance with all sex offender registration requirements under the law,” Winquist said. “Members of the Cranston Police Department are committed to protecting all residents and will remain proactive in this regard.”
This article has been corrected to identify Gardner as an unclassified sex offender.