A Swampscott man accused of assaulting a woman he met online turned out to be a convicted sex offender who was not on Massachusetts' sex offender registry.
Giovanni Rossi Jr., 45, was arrested and ordered to be held without bail after a woman told police he attacked her when she responded to a Craigslist ad for an apartment rental.
According to Swampscott Police records, Rossi, who was convicted of a similar crime years earlier, was not registered in the state's online, public database because he was awaiting classification by the Sex Offender Registry Board.
"It's clearly a troubling case," said Rep. Paul Tucker, who sits on the state's Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
Under a 2015 ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court, the SORB was required to raise the burden of proof used to determine what level of risk an offender should be given in the system. That allowed 390 people to seek new classification hearings from the board, which the agency is still going through.
While offenders wait for those hearings to occur, they do not have to appear on the online database accessed by the public. However, law enforcement does still have access to that list.
"While I respect the court's ruling," Tucker explained, "I think it is concerning that there other so many of these people that have been adjudicated as sex offenders that are untethered to the registry right now."
SORB has hired extra staff to help conduct hearings in a timely manner. However, 105 of the remaining open cases have yet to be scheduled.
Rossi's hearing is scheduled for June.