• Convicted sex offender arrested for rape weeks after removal from Megan's Law website

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    NORTH STRABANE, Pa. - A convicted sex offender was arrested for raping a woman, just weeks after he was removed from the Megan’s Law website.

    Richard Betonte was arrested last week for allegedly breaking into a woman’s home and beating and raping her for nearly two hours.

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    Channel 11's Cara Sapida discovered that Betonte was convicted of rape back in 1990. She spent the day talking to officials in Harrisburg and found out 3,000 -5,000 registered sex offenders will be removed from the list, a process that has already started.  

    North Strabane police were able to quickly arrest Betonte thanks to a program that checks in on offenders monthly. 

    “Our Megan's Law program was beneficial in making a swift arrest in this case,” said Officer Gary Scherer.  


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    Scherer has a unique role at the North Strabane Police Department – he checks in regularly with each offender on the registry.  

    “Because we are on a first-name basis with these offenders, most of our officers know where they live, their MOs,” he said.

    11 investigates found out Betonte was convicted of a rape case back in 1990 that was strikingly similar to the new charges.

    “According to Act 10, under the new standards, he would no longer be required to register under Megan’s Law,” Scherer said.

    Betonte’s removal comes after a decision last year by the state Supreme Court that found it unconstitutional to force sex offenders sentenced when Megan’s Law was in effect to register under new, stricter requirements.

    And with that ruling, more than 17,000 registrants would no longer have been required to register. Officials in Harrisburg confirmed to Channel 11 that Betonte would have received a letter in the mail last month saying he no longer had to register. 


     

     

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