Authorities recently arrested a man who moved from Toms River to Howell last year but allegedly failed to register as a sex offender, per the requirements of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law.
According to a news released issued by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, 34-year-old Howell resident William E. Bennett was taken into custody by Ocean County Detective Sgt. Michael V. Cecchini on Thursday, August 20th. Bennett is facing third-degree charges for failure to register as a sex offender after he allegedly changed his place of residence without updating local officials.
Bennet is bound by New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, which governs the sex offender registry and contains a number of specific mandatory provisions. Under Megan’s Law, a convicted sex offender must notify police departments in their previous and current towns of residence if they intend to move. The time frame for this notification is 10 days and failing to do so may result in charges for “failure to register as a sex offender,” which is a third degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from 3 to 5 years.
Bennet is currently being held at the Ocean County Jail in lieu of bail amounting to $30,000 with no 10 percent option. The sex crime for which he was originally convicted remains undisclosed; however, Megan’s Law registration may be a condition of sentencing in any of the following cases: sexual assault, luring or enticing a minor, criminal sexual contact, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child.
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Cops: Man failed to register as sex offender in Howell