One Connecticut lawmaker is saying that the state's early release program should be suspended after a Middletown man was released early and caught touching himself on a transit bus near a child.
Middletown police arrested a registered sex offender Wednesday after he was accused of exposing himself and then masturbating in front of a 14-year-old girl on a city bus.
Joseph Maybery has 28 convictions including ones for sexual assault and burglary among other violent crimes, and he is list on the State of Connecticut Sex Offender's Registry, police said.
Maybery had recently been convicted of assaulting a public safety officer and received a 30-month sentence. Since Maybery completed special courses, he earned 60 days of credit and got out of jail in June.
Republican Sen. Len Suzio said he tried to repeal this program in 2011 and after this latest incident, he wants the early release program suspended immediately.
"We gotta make the public aware of how dangerous this law is," she said during a news conference Friday afternoon.
Suzio said he is worried about the public's safety.
"There's a failure to protect the public from these violent criminals that are being released," he said.
Maybery was released two months early because he participated in the state's Risk Reduction Earned Credits Program, officials said. He completed several programs to address issues with addiction, anger management and domestic violence while also finishing a re-entry into society course.
"It's our most important responsibility as legislators to protect the public from violent criminals and sexual predators and this program is literally opening the prison doors wide open," Suzio said.
If an inmate shows good behavior and completes improvement classes, they can shave five days a month off their sentence.
In Meriden, which is part of the district Suzio covers, Frankie Resto was enrolled in the same program for just two months and after getting out of jail, he is accused of murdering a convenience store clerk.
"I never really anticipated that one of the first tragedies would occur virtually in my backyard," Suzio said.
Since the program began, 7,500 inmates were released early and nearly 800 are back behind bars.
Emarie Hagen supports the early release program, but she does not know if Mayberry should have been released.
"I don't know their case. I don't know the strides they made while they were there," he said. "It's unfortunate that it happened."
The department of corrections did not want to comment on the press conference.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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