Baltimore Sex Offender Charged with Failing to Register Bailed Out of Jail


6:37 PM EST, December 15, 2011

Bail was set at $5,000 by a Harford County District Court judge Thursday for a convicted rapist charged with failing to register as a sex offender, who claims he is homeless. The man was freed on bond later in the day.

William Shane Burke, 39, of the 2800 block of Federal Street in Baltimore, was charged Nov. 1 with failing to register as a sex offender and came before Judge Susan Hazlett in Bel Air Thursday afternoon for a bail review.

Public defender Thomas Ashwell said Burke was previously convicted for first-degree rape and left prison in around 2006, when he did report his sex offender status.

After leaving jail, however, Burke initially had no address because he became homeless, Ashwell said.

“He recognizes that he should have been more diligent in trying to find out how a homeless person goes about registering,” the lawyer said.

Burke has failed to appear in court on five prior occasions, the judge was told.

Burke told Hazlett, “After spending all that time in prison … I would like to spend some time living my life.”

After Hazlett set his bail at $5,000, Burke exclaimed, “Yes!”

Online court records show Burke had been released from the detention center by Thursday evening.

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