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Minnesota Legislature

Predatory offender felonious offense

Published (3/6/2009)
By Mike Cook
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Lakes Area Police Deputy Chief Bill Schlumbohm testifies before the House Crime Victims/Criminal Records Division Feb. 27 in support of a bill that would create a fifth degree criminal sexual conduct offense for repeat no contact predatory offenders. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)When an out-of-state sex offender moved to a Chisago City home four years ago, neighbors were not made aware of his Nebraska felony conviction for a sex crime against a minor. State law does not assign offender levels to sex perpetrators moving into the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

“In that case he was trying to drag a young female off the street and into his vehicle while she was rollerblading in her neighborhood with two friends,” said Bill Schlumbohm, deputy chief of the Lakes Area Police Department.

The man has since pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment and stalking in Minnesota for indecent exposure.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Kalin (DFL-North Branch), HF551 would create a fifth degree criminal sexual conduct — a felony offense — for repeat no contact predatory offenders. At that point, the offender could serve time in a corrections facility and have a risk level assigned.

“Given the pattern of offenses, these repeat predatory offenders — even if all offenses were non-contact — stand a high likelihood of being assigned a Level 3 (probable recidivism) status,” Kalin wrote in a later e-mail. The public is notified when a Level 3 offender moves into an area.

Amended and approved Feb. 27 by the House Crime Victims/Criminal Records Division, and approved March 5 by the House Public Safety Policy and Oversight Committee, the bill was sent to the House Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee. A companion, SF788, sponsored by Sen. Rick Olseen (DFL-Harris), awaits action by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“(Now) you can have as many indecent exposures as you want, it doesn’t aggravate. It doesn’t get more serious. Each offense is treated on its own,” Schlumbohm said. “It doesn’t matter that he’s done it two other times before that or however many times. It doesn’t matter that he’s got a conviction for dragging a girl off the street.”

The bill would also require the Corrections and Public Safety departments to tailor current material on the dangers of predatory offenders to child-care providers, nursing and group home workers and providers, and the like.

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