Schenectady County sex-offender law brings mixed reactions

Scotia's Washington Road residents vowed they would not stop until their voices were heard.

After more than six months of speaking with village officials, collecting signatures and hanging caution tape throughout their neighborhood, residents finally received the news they have been waiting for: Convicted sex offenders in Schenectady County will need to move if their current residency is within 2,000 feet of a school, daycare center, playground or public pool. For Washington Road residents, this means their neighbor's houseguest, a level three sex offender, will need to move by Oct. 1, when the county law goes into effect.

A lot of burden will be lifted off of many parents of young children. This law has been on the table for two years, and we feel we made a difference in getting it back into action, said Washington Road resident Stan Kubick.

Kubick moved to Scotia with his wife and five children a few months before his neighbor Bill Seyse decided to let a level three sex offender into his home last fall. Seyse sent his neighbors a letter informing them about his decision to take Richard Matthews III into his home.

The neighborhood has many families with young children.

"People simply felt it was a poor decision. It was not the place to have this person living. We started to get together to discuss what we could do. At first, I thought it was helpless, but when we started to make progress, I knew we could really make a difference," said Kubick.

Kubick spoke of the parents who attended many government meetings, on both the village and county level. He said to hear people in their 40s talk about being abused as a child, and how it still affected them, was very emotional.

"For these people to have to relive their abuse to get a law passed to protect our children was a very emotional experience. Everyone says, 'What about the rights of the sex offender,' well what about the rights of a victim?" said Kubick.

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