“I’m the level 3 sex offender all of you have been talking about,” said Carl Peterson, to a shocked group of town meeting attendees in Belmont, MA. The meeting was organized by the Belmont Police Department to make residents aware of a registered sex offender in the area and discuss safety concerns. Peterson was one attendee that they did not anticipate.
"It seems as though the big reason why we are here tonight is me," said Peterson, who attended the meeting with his wife. "The problem is all you know, all you get to know about my problem is what you read ... which says I'm the most dangerous and the most likely to reoffend of all sex offenders. It also says my offense was the rape against a child.”
Peterson went on to explain that he committed a sexual assault against his then-14 year-old niece. Peterson spent 4 years in prison for his crime.
"It scared me when this happened. Before this happened, I would have said and meant it, 'I would never have an offense against a child. That wasn't who I am.' But the problem was I did have an offense against a child," he said.
"One of the scariest thing while spending time in prison was wondering ... that it will not happen again," said Peterson. Peterson swore that it was an isolated incident, and that there is no chance that he would commit another offense.
The people at the meeting were mixed on the sex offender outing himself in front of them. Some showed nothing but scorn, shouting “Just go,” and “You were charged with rape.” Others were concerned but appreciated his bravery. “I’m shocked what I’m hearing, but I want to hear it,” said one.
Peterson committed a horrible crime, but if I were one of those Belmont parents, I would be relieved that the sex offender in my neighborhood outed himself.