PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A convicted child rapist is moving to Rhode Island following his release from prison but because his offenses pre-date Megan’s Law, there’s no requirement to inform the community.
In the late 1980’s, Richard Gardner was convicted of sexually assaulting boys in Warwick, R.I., and Hingham, Mass. He was released from prison in 2016 but was quickly incarcerated again after he visited a public library in Quincy, Mass., which violated the terms of his probation.
Gardner was released from prison again on Thursday before checking in with a probation office in Rhode Island.
It’s unclear at this time where Gardner will be living but the local police department is aware and will provide very close supervision, according to the R.I. Department of Corrections (DOC).
The DOC said it’s also taking measures to ensure the safety of the community.
Megan’s Law is the measure that led to the federal government requiring that all states establish sex offender registries.
The conditions of Gardner’s probation won’t be made public but despite that, Eyewitness News put in a request for those documents in an effort to learn more about his release.
The DOC said he’ll need to get permission to leave the state.
Prosecutors have admitted they made a mistake by not asking a judge to civilly commit Gardner as a sexually dangerous person.