Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing to close a lottery loophole that allowed a serial sex offender to continue preying on children after winning a $10 million payout.
Daniel T. Snay, 62, of Uxbridge, was jailed Tuesday after pleading not guilty to sexually abusing a boy between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 1, 2012, while plying him with pricey gifts like two Kawasaki ATVs. Snay had bought the winning lotto ticket on Jan. 30, 2008, the Boston Herald reported.
Before his windfall, Snay was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 years or older four separate times in Massachusetts from 1974 to 1987, according to the Sex Offender Registry. He was also on the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry.
Unless a winner owes child support or back taxes, the lottery can't currently withhold a payout based simply on someone's character. State lawmakers are working to close a loophole that would make it more difficult for sex offenders to collect their winnings.
"Should someone on the sex offender list purchase a ticket and win, I think we should find a way from preventing them from enjoying the proceeds," said state Sen. Richard T. Moore, the Herald reported. "This doesn't smell right to start with. ... There's a lot of questions we need to resolve, but I think we can do it fairly quickly."
Uxbridge Police Chief Jeffrey A. Lourie agreed: "Having access to large sums of money gives individuals an ability to do good, and in this case, to do bad."
House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr. suggested that lottery winners should forfeit the remainder of their winnings if they break the law.
"That can theoretically apply to someone who didn't have any type of record," she said.
Snay was slated to collect $350,000 a year after taxes through 2027, but has since opted to cash out for an unknown lump sum, Beth Bresnahan, the lottery's executive director, told the Herald.
In his most recent case, Snay has been charged with indecent assault and battery on a child, reckless endangerment of a child, enticement of a child and dissemination of pornography to a minor. He was held Tuesday on $5 million bond, the report said.
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