Sex offender pleads innocent to registry failure

Edmund Thornton, 65, who until recently lived in East Calais, pleaded not guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge that he failed to register as a sex offender after moving to Vermont.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Doyle ordered that Thornton be detained pending trial.

According to court records, on October 27, 2022, a federal grand jury in Vermont returned a one count indictment alleging that Thornton violated the Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act (SORNA). Thornton was arrested in Pennsylvania on the charge on October 31 and has been held pending his transfer to Vermont.

Records indicate that in 1999, Thornton pleaded guilty in Pennsylvania to charges that included attempted deviate sexual intercourse with a ten-year-old girl. Thornton served several years in prison. Under Pennsylvania law, Thornton was required to register in that state as a convicted sex offender upon his release from custody. The federal Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act also required Thornton to promptly register with authorities in any state to which he moves.

According to the indictment, Thornton moved to Vermont in about June 2020 but failed to register with authorities here, as required by SORNA.

If convicted, Thornton faces up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Categories: Crime