WOONSOCKET — A city man was arraigned in District Court Tuesday on charges of being a registered sex offender living too close to Beacon Charter School.
Even though Marcus Jamal Gibbs is on supervised release from a federal sex-trafficking conviction, he was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment on the new charge in Sixth District Court. Police say offenders are generally not held as violators of federal probation when they’re accused of new charges in state courts.
Gibbs, 31, of 285 Main St., is due back in court for another hearing on Nov. 18. Police charged him with the crime because his apartment is less than 300 feet from Beacon Charter School, located at 320 Main St., according to reports.
The charge dates back to an an incident that occurred at 285 Main St. about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Police said they were dispatched to a report of a quarrel at the apartment house when they saw a woman trying to punch Gibbs during an argument in the parking lot.
After a brief investigation at the scene, the police charged Jovanna M. Nunez, 30, with one count of domestic vandalism. The police say the argument broke out when Nunez, the mother of Gibbs’ children, surprised him in bed with another woman and became upset, smashing a mirror and other items in his apartment. A police report says Nunez’s address is the same as that of Gibbs, though she told police she had moved out.
Gibbs is a registered sex offender after a conviction in U.S. District Court to 2015 charges of conspiring to traffic a 16-year-old female to various location in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the purpose of prostitution.
He is one of three men who pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the offense. He admitted to transporting the girl for illicit liaisons after her photograph, in various stages of undress, had been advertised on the now-defunct website Backpage.com. Because of its purported links to sex trafficking and other crimes, the FBI seized Backpage.com and its affiliated websites in April 2018.
Jim Martin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, said Gibbs served about three years in federal detention before he pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to time served. He was also ordered to serve five years supervised release, the federal equivalent of probation.
In addition to the new charge of moving across the street from Beacon without notifying the police, Gibbs was also seized on a warrant, issued by the WPD on June 10, charging him with failing to notify authorities that he had changed his address, as sex offenders are required to do under the law.