Pittsfield man held without bail for failing to register as sex offender

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PITTSFIELD -- A sex offender wanted in Florida and Massachusetts for failing to register is being held without bail as a fugitive from justice.

Prosecutors allege Richard Phaneuf, 54, of Pittsfield, failed to register as a sex offender in two jurisdictions in Florida in 2010 and in Pittsfield between April and his arrest by the Pittsfield Police on Wednesday.

According to state records, Phaneuf is a Level 2 offender, considered at a moderate risk to re-offend, stemming from a 1994 conviction for rape. He is required to let the closest police agency know where he resides.

In March, he registered with the Pittsfield Police, but failed to register the next month. When police went to a local shelter where he had been staying they were told he had left, according to a police report.

Because Phaneuf was homeless at the time, he was required to show up at the police station monthly, but failed to do so, according to police.

On Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court, Phaneuf pleaded guilty to a single count of failure to register as a sex offender and was sentenced by Judge Michael J. Ripps to time served (one day) in line with a request by the defendant's attorney, William Barry.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Royce had asked for a month on the charge citing Phaneuf's record in Massachusetts, Florida and Georgia that goes back 30 years for charges that include robbery and grand theft auto.

The defendant also agreed to be held without bail while awaiting rendition back to Florida by law enforcement officials there.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx: aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6249. On Twitter: @BETheAmelinckx


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