Mass. Court Recognizes Homeless Plight in Sex Offender GPS Case

The highest court in Massachusetts says homeless sex offenders should not be punished for being unable to keep their GPS monitoring devices charged.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday in the case of John Canadyan Jr., a homeless man who was sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

After his release, Canadyan was ordered to wear a GPS device. But a judge found that Canadyan had violated his probation by not doing enough to find a job that, in turn, would allow him to secure housing and have access to an electrical outlet for charging the device.

The SJC ruled that that the lower court’s finding that Canadyan had violated the terms of his probation was “akin to punishing the defendant for being homeless” because he did not have access to a power outlet.