Becker pleaded to lesser sexual assault and battery charges. Northhampton (Mass.) Disrict Court Judge Thomas Estes continued the case for two years, giving Becker probation that requires him to attend sex counseling and abstain from drug or alcohol use.
If he complies with the probation, the charges can be cleared from his record. If he doesn’t, he can be convicted of the crimes and face up to 2.5 years in jail for each of the two charges.
If convicted, Massachusetts law gives the judge discretion over whether to require Becker to register as a sex offender. The decision of what level of registration is required is made by a Sex Offender Registry Board.
The request to transfer his probation to Ohio is still being processed, according to state officials. It notes that he is “Not required to register as a sex offender in the state of MA (Massachusetts) because he was not convicted of these charges.”
Ohio officials say they can’t require Becker to register as a sex offender as a condition of probation.
“For a new resident to Ohio to be put on Ohio’s registry, that person would have to have a duty to register on a substantially similar charge in their original state,” said Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. “If they are not on the registry in their original state, they would not be put on the registry in Ohio.”
Law enforcement officials in Massachusetts won’t release a mug shot of Becker. Requests for mug shots sent to the court, the district attorney and the East Longmeadow Police Department were all denied on the grounds that state law prohibits release of mug shots of non-convicted sexual assault suspects.
Becker's case has reminded many of that of Brock Turner, the Oakwood High School graduate who will return to the Dayton area to serve probation after serving three months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman at Stanford University. Turner was convicted, so he will have to register as a sex offender.
Earlier this year, an in-depth investigation by this newspaper found that sexual assaults often go unreported on college campuses. When they are reported, they rarely lead to arrest and almost never lead to a prison sentence.