BOSTON -- The criminal and civil court saga for John King of Ayer has concluded.
Ayer police arrested King, a Level 3 sex offender, on May 15, for living at his new wife, Ashley King's, house at 6 Whitcomb Avenue. The police alleged that King violated state law, which requires sex offenders to notify departments in communities where they live or work.
But on Wednesday, Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone confirmed that the criminal charges against King have been dropped.
Following a three day trial in late November, U.S. District Court Judge William Young issued a partial order on Dec. 20, allowing King to immediately live at the 6 Whitcomb Avenue home. Young ruled that King had properly notified Ayer a month prior to his arrest.
By finding King had complied with state law, Young dismissed as moot King's separate civil rights claims regarding a new Ayer bylaw restricting where Level 2 and 3 sex offenders may live in town.
Passed by Ayer Town Meeting in Oct. 2011, the bylaw was not yet on the books when King visited the police on April 19. King sued, stating Ayer police Chief William Murray attempted to stall King from registering his intended 6 Whitcomb Avenue residence.
The bylaw was enacted on April 24 - two months after the Attorney General's Office advised the town that the bylaw needed to be posted to be activated.
By dismissing King's constitutional charges, the town bylaw remains on the books.
"A recent U.S. District Court Order found that John King was 'effectively registered as a resident' prior to the enactment of the Ayer bylaw that restricted where level 2 and 3 sex offenders could live," said Leone. "After reviewing this federal order, consulting with the Ayer Police Department and Town Counsel, and analyzing the applicable facts and law under the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, we filed a Nolle Prosequi in this matter."
On Jan. 4, Young dismissed the balance of King's claims that Murray violated the couple's federal and state constitutional rights of intrastate travel and free association.