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By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
September 26, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - A registered, Level 2 sex offender who walked into a children's room at the downtown public library Thursday was fined $150 for violating the city's "child safety zone" ordinance.
Police said Karlheinz Harding, 47, of 241 Ashley Blvd. is the first sex offender to violate a city ordinance banning individuals convicted of juvenile sex crimes from being in public places where children are present.
He had no listed phone number and no one answered the door at his apartment building.
The ordinance was enacted five months ago after the fallout from the Jan. 30 alleged sexual assault of a 6-year-old boy by a Level 3 sex offender in the same downtown public library where Mr. Harding was on Thursday.
Mr. Harding was convicted in 1987 of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, police said.
He also has two prior arrests for failing to register as a sex offender.
Police said Mr. Harding was with an unidentified woman in the library's first-floor juvenile reading room around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
They were in the room for only a few minutes. No children were present.
Less than 30 feet away, a computer monitor at the front desk continuously cycled through pictures of the city's registered Level 3 sex offenders - those judged to be most likely to commit sex crimes.
Downtown Community Police Officer Shawn McGuire was on bicycle patrol when he saw Mr. Harding and the woman enter the library.
Recognizing the individual as a sex offender, the officer went into the library and saw Mr. Harding in the juvenile reading room looking at a children's book.
Officer McGuire escorted Mr. Harding outside the building and ordered him to leave.
Mr. Harding, who admitted to the officer that he had received a letter informing local sex offenders of the child safety ordinance, left without incident. He was fined $150.
Police Capt. Joseph Cordeiro, the downtown district commander, credited Officer McGuire, who often visits the library during his downtown patrols.
"We're lucky to have conscientious, energetic, proactive and concerned guys like him," Capt. Cordeiro said.
In early April, the City Council and Mayor Scott W. Lang approved the safety zone ordinance, portraying it as the toughest regulation of its kind in the state aimed at keeping sexual predators away from children.
The ordinance was enacted after Corey Deen Saunders, a Level 3 sex offender, allegedly raped a 6-year-old boy in the downtown library's second-floor reading room while the child's mother worked on a nearby computer.
The child safety zone ordinance prohibits registered, Level 2 and 3 offenders convicted of juvenile sex crimes from visiting parks, playgrounds, libraries, schools, day-care centers, gymnasiums, sports fields, arcades and recreation centers.
The penalty for violating the ordinance is a $150 fine for a first offense and $300 for a second offense.
The violations are also reported to sex offender monitors.
Sex offenders who refuse to comply with an order to leave a safety zone can be arrested.
Before its enactment, the ordinance was criticized by some City Council members as not being tough enough.
City Solicitor Irene B. Schall has said she wrote the ordinance in such a way to withstand legal challenges.
Shortly after the mayor signed the new ordinance, all Level 2 and 3 sex offenders in New Bedford received letters notifying them of the prohibitions.
As to whether the law has been a deterrent, police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva said it was difficult to say, but he said the tremendous amount of publicity and media coverage following the Saunders arrest put many offenders "on alert."
"It all led to the fact that sex offenders know we're on notice," Lt. Silva said. "The city is serious about keeping people safe from sex offenders."

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080926/NEWS/809260354
 

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Man pleads guilty to raping boy, 6, at library



NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- A convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to raping a 6-year-old boy at the New Bedford Public Library a year ago.
Corey Deen Saunders entered the plea Monday to charges that include of rape of a child, indecent assault and battery, enticing a child and threats to commit a crime. Saunders was arrested Jan. 30, 2008, after he was accused of luring the boy to the magazine stacks while the child's mother worked on a computer just a few feet away.
Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter asked Superior Court Judge Robert Kane to sentence the Saunders to life in prison, citing the age of the victim and the fact that the 27-year-old had already been convicted for the 2000 attempted rape of a 7-year-old boy.
Saunders' defense attorney recommended a shorter sentence.
The judge did not immediately set a sentencing date.
Saunders' attorney, Alan Zwirblis, did not immediately return a message left later Monday.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO103421/
 

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Prosecutors want life for child molester

By Associated Press
Friday, February 20, 2009

NEW BEDFORD - Prosecutors are requesting a life sentence for man convicted of raping a 7-year-old boy in a New Bedford library.
In documents filed in New Bedford Superior Court, prosecutors say Corey Deen Saunders should spend the rest of his life behind bars because he "simply cannot be stopped."
The Standard-Times of New Bedford reports Friday that the recommendation is based on Saunders' history of sexual advances toward young boys, the likelihood that he would reoffend if released, and the seriousness of his crimes.
The 27-year-old Saunders pleaded guilty this month to multiple charges including rape of a child with force for the January 2008 incident.
Defense lawyers have argued for a shorter sentence with probation. Sentencing has not been scheduled.

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http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2009_02_20_Prosecutors_want_life_for_child_molester/
 

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New Bedford child rapist gets life in jail

By Associated Press
Friday, April 3, 2009 -


Photo by Herald pool
Corey Deen Saunders

NEW BEDFORD - A man who raped a 6-year-old boy in a public library while on probation for an attempted rape got life in prison yesterday.
Corey Deen Saunders pleaded guilty in February to the January 2008 rape of the boy at the New Bedford Public Library.
Prosecutors said Saunders lured the boy into a reading room at the library while the victim's mother worked on a computer only a few feet away. At the time of the attack, Saunders was a convicted sex offender who was on probation after serving four years in prison for the attempted rape of a 7-year-old boy.
The Bristol District Attorney's Office sought a life sentence for Saunders in part because of the ages of the victims in both cases.
Saunders, 27, will be eligible for parole after 15 years. He was also sentenced to lifetime probation.
Saunders was released from prison in December 2006, despite objections from prosecutors and three psychologists who said he was too dangerous to be let out. He is a Level 3 sex offender, a designation given to those believed most likely to re-offend.
The case reignited debate over a civil commitment law that allows prosecutors to request that sexual offenders be locked up indefinitely after completing their prison terms.
Prosecutors sought to have Saunders committed after his term. But a judge rejected the request, citing Saunders' history of being sexually abused as a child.

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New Bedford child rapist gets life in jail - BostonHerald.com
 
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