Charges vs. court officer dropped - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Charges vs. court officer dropped

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A court officer charged with rape had the case against him dismissed after the alleged victim refused to testify, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office said.

A judge dismissed the charges against Charles Tatum, Jr. Monday as his trial was set to begin.

Tatum worked as a court officer until his arrest last year. His attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment.

But as FOX Undercover discovered, it’s not Tatum’s first brush with the law.

He’s already a convicted sex offender whose record from South Carolina didn't stop the Massachusetts courts from hiring him in 2001.

He passed a background check before he was hired, but that check only looked at Massachusetts court appearances.

As FOX Undercover’s Mike Beaudet reported on Sunday, Massachusetts is one of the few states that hasn't passed legislation that would allow national criminal background checks on many employees.

“It’s outrageous,” said Laurie Myers, a victims advocate. “We have to get our act together in this state. We have to decide what’s important and we need to act on it. That’s it. We can't always be the last state to do something. Especially when it comes to public safety.”

“What’s it going to take for Massachusetts to start doing national background checks?” asked Beaudet.

“In my experience, probably a murder or some high profile case that forces them to do it,” Myers said.

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