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Megan’s Law offender released after third failure to register

A Hammonton man who was arrested for his third failure to register as a Megan’s Law offender was freed following a detention hearing Tuesday.

Michael Parker, 56, has been a convicted sex offender since 1985, when he broke into a home and raped a woman who he bound and restrained, according to records.

Parker was given a suspended sentence on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and failure to register three weeks before his latest arrest for again failing to register.

“I completely forgot to register,” he told Judge Nancy Ridgway. “I had 48 hours. They didn’t give me an extra day.”

Parker in his online Megan’s Law registry photo. He is Tier 2, which is considered a moderate risk on the three-tier scale.

It’s difficult to tell Parker how to register since he is homeless, attorney Sarah Weinstock told the judge.

Assistant Prosecutor Jasmine Ostrow said there is such a provision in the paperwork Megan’s Law offenders sign.

“If I am considered homeless, I can select a town and location where I spend a majority of time and register in that town and location,” she read from the paper.

Parker’s criminal history dates to the rape when he was 19, and continued after he served his prison time, according to what was presented in court.

His prior convictions include robbery, theft, terroristic threats and drug offenses.

Parker also had four failures to appear in court within the last two years. That all added up to a public safety assessment — used to help decide whether a defendant should be detained under bail reform — suggesting he remain jailed.

“It really passed my mind to detain you, Sir,” the judge said as she ruled for release.

Parker was given 48 hours to register, promising he would.

But he also indicated he shouldn’t need to still abide by the terms of a decades-old conviction.

“It’s ridiculous, Your Honor,” he said. “It’s a 40-year-old charge.”

Parker was released from the jail Wednesday morning, records show.

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