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Megan's Law & the

- Abstract

Probably there are by now few people who have not heard the story of Megan Kanka of Hamilton Township, New Jersey—or at least some story similar to it. It is the kind of story, indeed, to which we are in danger of becoming inured because of its familiarity: how one day during this past July Megan, seven years old, went missing and after a frantic search was found discarded in some tall grass not far from her house, raped and strangled. Shortly thereafter, a thirty-three-year-old man named Jesse Timmendequas was arrested and then confessed to the crime.

Timmendequas had twice before been convicted of sexually assaulting young girls, had spent six years in what the press referred to as a “treatment facility,” and had only recently been released and returned, as they say, to the community. Along with two other sexual-offender “rehabilitees,” he had been living in the house across the street from Megan’s. After he was apprehended, neighbors told reporters, as neighbors in these circumstances so often do, that he had been a quiet man.

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