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Press Release

Somerville Man Pleads Guilty to Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant convicted of failing to register twice before

BOSTON – A Somerville man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston for failing to register as a sex offender.

James Mercer, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to register as a sex offender before U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV., who scheduled sentencing for Sept. 12, 2017. 

Mercer was required to register as a Level 2 sex offender in Massachusetts after being convicted in 1992 and 1996 on state charges. He was convicted twice for failing to register – in 2007 in Florida state court and in 2015 in federal court in Boston. 

Following his release from custody in relation to the 2015 federal conviction in Boston, Mercer left Massachusetts without reporting to authorities, as required by law.  Mercer was located in California, where he was arrested for failing to update his sex offender registration in Massachusetts. 

The charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and U.S. Marshal John Gibbons for the District of Massachusetts made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Weinreb’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.  In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 21, 2017

Project Safe Childhood