For more information contact: Jim Greve 651-296-4338
ST. PAUL – Legislation by Representative Kathy Lohmer (R-Lake Elmo) and Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) was signed into law yesterday that would authorize community notification prior to a sex offender’s provisional discharge from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) to a halfway house.
“I am pleased that Governor Dayton has signed into law this important public safety legislation,” Representative Lohmer said. “An informed public is better enabled to make public safety decisions about the health and welfare of their children if they know a dangerous sex offender resides in their neighborhood.”
Representative Lohmer authored House File 2394 in response to a loophole that prevents local law enforcement from conducting community notification in the event that a sex offender is provisionally discharged from the MSOP. Legislators were recently made aware of the loophole during a hearing regarding the release of Clarence Opheim, who has been civilly committed in the MSOP for the last two decades. Opheim is responsible for approximately 100 sexual assaults against 29 young boys. He is expected to enter a halfway house in the Twin Cities within the next week.
Community notification of sex offenders’ residences has been in effect since 1997, though former law did not apply for civilly committed sex offenders who were discharged from the MSOP to halfway houses.
Representative Lohmer encourages constituents to contact her with concerns on any issue of state or local concern. She may be reached at email@example.com or 651.296.9471. Mail should be sent to Rep. Kathy Lohmer, 521 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
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