DA: ‘Human error’ blamed for releasing sex offender from prison

WEYMOUTH, MA (WHDH) - A sex offender recently released from prison to live in Weymouth is now being transferred to Suffolk County and Plymouth County’s district attorney said he should have never been released in the first place.

Richard Gardner was convicted of kidnapping and raping several children in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was initially sentenced to 190 years but received a shorter sentence on appeal. He ended up being released after serving 27 years.

“I think he is a complete danger to society. People in his neighborhood better watch out,” said Cheryl Ellsworth, whose son Michael Sykes was one of Gardner’s victims.

Gardner relocated to his parents’ home in Weymouth, causing an uproar in the neighborhood. He then told police he was no longer comfortable living in Weymouth after someone threw a rock through the house’s front window.

7News has now learned Gardner’s probation will be supervised in Suffolk County. Where he is currently living is unknown.

Statement from Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office:

“Our office did not move to civilly commit Mr. Gardner. Senior officials in my office conducted a comprehensive review of this and determined that happened as a result of human error.”

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