SJC: Newton home contractor who is Level 3 sex offender does not have to list clients’ addresses

“The defendant … is not an employee but an independent contractor, and publishing his clients’ addresses as though his clients were his employers would mischaracterize the relationship,” Gants wrote.

The SJC ruling was sought by Francis X. Harding Jr. a self-employed home contractor whom the Sex Offender Registry Board has classified as a Level 3 sex offender, the most likely to reoffend.

According to the SJC, Harding pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to five years of probation among other sanctions in Fall River District Court.

He was required to register as a sex offender and in the years since has listed his Newton home — where he has a workshop — as both his work and home address with the board, the SJC said.

The self-employed contractor has also regularly shared detailed invoices about the homes or businesses where he had worked with probation officers and was considered to be in compliance with his sentence, the SJC said.

But in March 2018, a Revere police officer spotted Harding at a shopping plaza where the officer was conducting a drug investigation, stopped him, and learned he was working at a house in Lynn repairing gutters, the SJC said.

Lynn police confirmed the information and also confirmed an infant child lived there – Harding was barred from working “with’ children under his sentence – leading District Court Judge Cynthia M. Brackett to find that Harding violated his probation.

Harding appealed, drawing support from the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the non-profit Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

They jointly argued sex offenders already face major problems getting work and the public disclosure would drive drive away potential customers. Steady employment, they argued, has been proven to reduce recidivism among sex offenders, citing several studies, including one that showed 54 percent of unemployed sex offenders in Indiana committed new crimes.

But Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, whose office prosecuted Harding, wrote in court papers that the major focus of the law was to protect children. Prosecutors said that the Lynn family did not know Harding was a registered sex offender and that he was on site for 30 days.

“The entire purpose that registration serves [is] ensuring that authorities know where sex offenders live and work so they can monitor the offenders to prevent recidivism and protect the public, particularly where children are at risk,” prosecutors said.

Gants, who died last month, wrote that Harding had twice been hired by the Lynn homeowners and the second employment took place after they had a child. .

Gants wrote that the sex offender registry law requires offenders to notify local police and the board they have a new employer 10 days before they start work and in those cases where a homeowner needs help right away, the offender could lose the contract.

“We will not infer that the Legislature intended to

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This company by husband-wife duo is redefining luxury interior design for clients; eyes Rs 100 Cr turnover thi

The economic reforms of 1991 opened the Indian economy to the global business for the first time. The year was also tumultuous as it saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, an event that caused great economic stress to the Russian business ecosystem.

Around the same time, in 1993, Hardesh Chawla was in Russia running a financial services business in Moscow. As the economic unrest grew due to the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98, people started selling their assets in Russia. Hardesh saw that some real estate structures, though in dilapidated conditions, were being sold for lesser price. He started buying those buildings and renting them out. 

Hardesh’s wife Monica Chawla had a bent towards interior design and would add her inputs before renting out the house. When they started receiving positive feedback from their tenants about the design, they decided to translate this into a business opportunity.

Hardesh and Monica started Essentia Environments, a luxury interior design firm, in the year 1999. The company is an end-to-end solutions provider for building luxury properties offering services such as architecture, interior designing, manufacturing furniture, setting up the decor, etc. The husband-wife duo returned to India in 2003 and set up their office in Gurugram.

The company claims to have completed over 1000 projects in India, Russia, and the UAE in the past two decades, and counts DLF, Dasnac, Magnum, Porsche, and others as its clients. The company is looking to cross a turnover of Rs 100 crore this year.

Essentia Environments

Essentia Environments Team



The journey

Hardesh says there was no tipping point in their journey. One thing kept leading to another and before they knew, the design firm was ready. He says that his wife’s strength was in design whereas he found his strength in identifying the business opportunity and then capitalising on it.

As the years before founding the company were so turbulent in Russia, everything became easier for them to handle after returning to India. 

“Nothing surprises us anymore,” he says.

Talking about the difference between the Russian and the Indian business ecosystem, Hardesh points that India has evolved enormously over the years and the ease of doing business is greater. “Russia, unfortunately, hasn’t seen that kind of evolution,” he adds.

Additionally, a survey done by PwC Russia revealed that more than 50 percent of Russia’s corporate community believes that doing business in the country is more complicated today than it was during the 1990s.

Essentia Environments

Property designed by Essentia Environments



The business

When it comes to designing houses, the Essentia team does a thorough research, taking inputs from all family members. When they have everyone’s expectations, choices, and tastes in place, the team starts working together to create designs, architecture, fabrics, and furniture. 

A lot of items like precious stones, leather, and some fabrics are imported, but the furniture is manufactured in India in their Manesar unit. The company also creates picture quality 3D renders before the actual work starts so that any discrepancy in the design can be

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