Like any parent might, one Wisconsin mom wanted to make sure her adult daughter’s new boyfriend was a decent guy. So she went online and and searched for his name, Matthew Carr. What she found was nothing -- which, in retrospect, is incredibly shocking.
A few years earlier, while serving in the Air Force, Carr had been court-martialed for posing as a doctor and luring women into “gynecological exams.” The Air Force convicted Carr of “indecent assault" of seven women and sentenced him to seven years in prison.
But none of this came up in the Wisconsin mom’s search. Carr’s name didn’t pop up in criminal background checks or appear on any sex offender registry. So by the time the mom learned the truth -- from another family member’s deeper sleuthing -- her daughter had already submitted to several of Carr’s “exams.”
This convicted military sex offender had blended back into civilian society, only to commit the same heinous crime against more women.
This week on the DecodeDC podcast, host Andrea Seabrook talks with Scripps national investigative reporter Mark Greenblatt, who led a team of Scripps journalists that conducted a nine-month reporting project into military sex offenders who drop under the radar when returning to civilian life.
“We took the names of all 1,300 military sex offenders that we believed were convicted,” Greenblatt tells Seabrook, “and we plugged them into the sex offender registry databases of all 50 states. We found that in an alarming number of cases, these names were not popping up on any available list that you or I or a mom in Wisconsin would ever have access to.”
What the team uncovered is that Matthew Carr is one of at least 242 convicted military sex offenders whose names and offenses are not on any public U.S. sex offender registries today.
Want to keep up with all the latest DecodeDC stories and podcasts? Sign up for our weekly newsletter at decodedc.com/newsletter.