Registered sex offender covers the crime beat for Vermont newspaper

Eric Blaisdell, 27, is a registered sex offender who sat in jail for nearly a year and is now on probation for three counts of attempting to solicit a minor.

He also covers the crime beat for the Barre-Montpelier (VT) Times Argus — he’s “a steady and solid reporter,” says his editor — and has written at least 17 stories about sex offenses since June, reports Paul Heintz. (Last week, Blaisdell wrote about a “teen safe space.”)

From the Times Argus’s story on its employee, who was a 21-year-old student when he was arrested:

Blaisdell said that he never had any physical contact with any of the females he met online. When they suggested meeting, he said, he came up with excuses.

Blaisdell’s mug shot (left) and Twitter avatar

“It was never my intention of following through. There was a lot of talk, a lot of talk, but I would come up with some excuse, and say, ‘Oh, my car broke down,’ or ‘My grandmother died.’”

Blaisdell said he was talking about his history to get his side of the story out.

“I think my side needs to be told,” he said.

Blaisdell tells his paper that now that his record is public, “all I can do is move forward.” He adds that “I’m fearful it will compromise my ability to talk to people. People just see the word ‘sex offender’ … I fear it’s going to make my job much harder.”

* Reporter covering cops and courts knows a thing or two about both (7dvt.com)
* Experts question handling of sex offender reporter (rutlandherald.com)

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