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Press Release

Sex Offender Admits to Failing to Register in R.I.

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
Vernon Massie arrested in Springfield, Mass., after fleeing R.I. following an alleged incident of domestic violence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Vernon G. Massie, 49, of Cranston, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Massie failed to register as a sex offender in Rhode Island, having moved to Cranston from Monroe, North Carolina, where he is a convicted and registered sex offender. SORNA requires that a registered sex offender notify law enforcement of a change of address.

Massie’s guilty plea to one count of failure to register as a sex offender having travelled in interstate is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth, and Cranston Police Chief Michael J. Winquist.

According to court records, on August 24, 2015, an arrest warrant was issued for Massie by the State of North Carolina charging Massie, who was convicted in September 2011 in Union County Superior Court of indecent liberties with a minor, with failing to update his residence in accordance with North Carolina sex offender laws.

According to court documents, on April 15, 2016, the Cranston Police Department responded to a 911 call for a domestic assault in that city. The female victim identified Vernon Massie as her fiancé and the person who allegedly assaulted her.  She alleged to police that Massie had choked her, and that when she attempted to call 911 for emergency assistance he prevented her from calling and strangled her a second time. Masse had fled the residence prior to the arrival of Cranston Police. An arrest warrant was issued for Massie charging him with domestic strangulation, domestic assault, domestic disorderly and refusal to relinquish a phone.

During the investigation it was determined that Massie was a non-compliant sex offender in the State of North Carolina, with active warrants for his arrest. It was also determined that Massie had failed to register as a sex offender in Rhode Island as required by SORNA. The Cranston Police Department requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals to locate and arrest Massie. Massie was located and arrested by U.S. Marshals on April 22, 2016, at a hotel in Springfield, Mass.

Massie, who has been detained since his arrest, will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on October 26, 2016, for violating SORNA. Following the completion of his federal sentence, Mr. Massie will be turned over to the State of Rhode Island to face domestic violence charges and then to the State of North Carolina on a charge of being a non-compliant sex offender.

The case in U.S. District Court in Providence is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.



Jim Martin (401) 709-5357


on Twitter @USAO_RI

Updated July 27, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-76