MN: Study: Minnesota’s sex offender civil commitment system is ‘failed investment’

Source: startribune.com 4/24/24 The state is spending more than $110 million this year on a sex offender program that locks up about 730 people. A new report calls for an end to the 30-year-old system. Minnesota involuntarily commits more people for sex offenses than anywhere else in the nation per capita, but authors of a new report say the more than $100 million-a-year program fails to meaningfully address sexual violence or recognize the humanity of those it locks up. Twenty states civilly commit sex offenders. Among those, Minnesota is “notorious”…

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MN: MSOP Moose Lake: Behind Barbed Wire – A look into the controversial Minnesota Sex Offender Program treatment program

Source: northernnewsnow.com 10/31/23 MOOSE LAKE, MN. (Northern News Now) – Recent violent assaults on staff inside the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in Moose Lake in the past year is sparking another look into the controversial treatment program. Northern News Now Anchor Laura Lee investigates the claims made by some clients inside MSOP who say they are being given life sentences for crimes they have already served. The desperation of some of the clients is reaching a boiling point as some say they are so desperate to get out, they are…

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MN: CA suspect in 2003 St. Paul rape is charged after testing of DNA evidence

Source: startribune.com 10/10/23 [ACSOL note: we are posting this to show how an unusually long delay of charges is possible, even reaching to another state] Since 2012, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners have been chipping away at their backlog of sexual assault kits holding evidence in unsolved cases.   By Paul Walsh Star Tribune Testing of DNA evidence nearly 20 years after it was collected has led to a man’s arrest on allegations that he raped a woman in a vehicle. Shawn P. ____, 48, was charged…

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MN: 8th Circuit OKs conditions in embattled Minnesota sex offender program

Source: 7/13/23 courthousenews.com ST. LOUIS (CN)  — The Eighth Circuit has once again given its blessing to a Minnesota program that detains certain sex offenders indefinitely, finding that neither the program nor the conditions it subjects detainees to violate their First, Fourth or 14th Amendment rights.  The program at issue, the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, houses about 740 civilly-committed men in two high-security facilities in rural parts of the state. Most, but not all, of those detainees have sex offense convictions — in many cases, multiple such offenses — and judges determined…

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MN: Transgender Minnesota lawmaker introduces bill removing anti-pedophile language from state’s Human Rights Act

Source: foxnews.com 4/26/23 A transgender state lawmaker in Minnesota introduced a measure that would remove language from the state’s Human Rights Act that currently declares pedophiles are not included in protections based on “sexual orientation.” The proposed language has shocked and bewildered Republicans, but the bill’s author says nothing in the text would weaken pedophilia laws. The “Take Pride Act” (HF 1655) was introduced earlier this year by state Rep. Leigh Finke, a member of the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party and the first transgender legislator in Minnesota House history. Read the full…

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MN: Minnesota sex offender released after turning life around

Source: benningtonbanner.com 4/10/23 BENNINGTON — In a case that touched on the meaning of rehabilitation in the criminal justice system, a Bennington judge ended the probation of a Minnesota woman — Rosa Maria ____ — guilty of luring a minor and sexually assaulting the victim. That decision came Monday, after a hearing last week in which ____ ‘s attorney argued that she had cleaned up her act and rehabilitated her life. ____ , now 27, the mother of two young toddlers, appeared via video link in a Bennington courtroom last…

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MN: 23 men arrested in Bloomington prostitution sting

Source:  startribune.com 3/20/23 Bloomington police arrested nearly two dozen men in a prostitution sting last week, according to the department. Officers from Bloomington’s special investigations unit created a phony ad for an adult sex worker featuring photos of an undercover Bloomington officer, according to a news release from the Police Department. … Part of the purpose of the sting, Hodges said, was to find potential victims of human trafficking. He said he hoped the men arrested could point police to real sex workers whose services they sought in the past…

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MN: Minnesota man kills sex offender using antler

Source: sfgate.com 3/10/23 GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man was charged Friday with fatally beating an elderly man previously convicted of child sexual assault, who he believed had stalked his young daughter in the past. Levi Axtell, 27, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Lawrence V. Scully, 77, who was beaten to death Wednesday at his home in Grand Marais. A criminal complaint filed Friday said Axtell killed Scully with a shovel and a moose antler and then drove to the Cook County Sheriff’s office…

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MN: Court ruling could speed up release process for state’s sex offender program

Source: cbsnews.com 2/1/23 MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that civilly committed people must be transferred to a community program within a reasonable amount of time after the request is made. According to court documents, the Minnesota Commitment Appeals Panel ordered two patients in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) to be transferred to Community Preparation Services (CPS). The two patients in the case claim the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and the Executive Director of the MSOP violated their due process rights by delaying transfer…

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MN: Locked Up For Good—Or Forgotten?

Source: minnesotamonthly.com 4/19/21 Minnesota has the highest per-capita commitment rate of sex offenders nationwide, and one of the lowest release rates The Minnesota Sex Offender Program housed at Moose Lake is tucked away in the woods, off State Highway 73, about 120 miles north of Minneapolis. The high-security facility surrounded by fences topped with razor wire is out of sight and out of mind for most Minnesotans, which leads those locked inside—some who already have served time and others who haven’t even been charged of a crime—to call it a…

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MN: Group pushes to take children off Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Registry

Source: msn.com 3/5/22 MINNEAPOLIS — Patty Wetterling just wanted the person who kidnapped her son to be caught. She never imagined her pursuit would lead to the creation of a list of more than 18,000 predatory offenders in Minnesota that could include children as young as 10 years old. “It was never intended to have 10-year-olds on the sex offender registry,” said Wetterling, whose son Jacob was abducted and murdered in 1989 when he was 11. “It would be laughable if it wasn’t so devastating.” Wetterling was one of more…

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MN: Long Weekend Protest Rocks Minnesota’s Shadow Prisons

Source: texansagainstcivilcommitment.com 8/29/21 MOOSE LAKE MN. Behind barbed wire fences a protest movement is swelling for an end to Minnesota’s Shadow Prisons, “treatment facilities” that detainees say are an unconstitutional death sentence. Nearly 800 people are held indefinitely outside of any criminal proceedings, after finishing prison sentences or without being convicted of a crime on civil allegations of being “mental ill” and “sexually dangerous”. Since Friday, and culminating in a protest led by detainees in walkers and wheelchairs this Monday, over a hundred detainees across racial lines have staged four…

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MN: Psychologist at Minnesota sex offender program charged with sexually assaulting two clients

[startribune.com – 4/23/21] The psychologist, Michelle D. _______, 38, of Duluth, was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving the men, who were undergoing treatment for sexual offenses. A warrant covering Minnesota and its border states has been issued for her arrest. The assaults occurred between 2016 and early 2018 on the campus of the state’s secure treatment facility in Moose Lake, including in rooms where clients undergo psychological assessments and polygraph tests, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Carlton County District Court. The charges…

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MN: Minnesota House committee hears sex offender program’s request for funding

[msn.com – 4/6/21] The Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee learned more Tuesday about the proposed $17.8 million contained in Gov. Tim Walz’s bonding request for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in St. Peter. The funding would renovate two buildings on the program’s campus, adding 30 beds to Community Preparation Services, as well as provide more programming and administrative space. Clients transferred to CPS continue treatment in a less restrictive setting that prepares them to integrate back into the community. Right now, all 89 beds at CPS are full, with about…

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MN: Apple Valley settles lawsuit over sex offender residency

[hometownsource.com – 4/1/21] The city of Apple Valley has agreed to settle a class action federal lawsuit filed in 2020 that challenges the constitutionality of a 2017 city ordinance that limits where some sex offenders can live in the community. The Apple Valley City Council, without discussion, approved a settlement agreement as part of the consent agenda during its March 25 meeting. According to the agreement, one payment of $70,000 will be made to “resolve all claims for damages, fees and costs.” Of that total, two plaintiffs will reach receive…

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MN: What last week’s Supreme Court ruling actually said — and didn’t say — about sexual assault and drinking in Minnesota

[minnpost.com – 4/1/21] A 20-year-old woman was standing outside a Dinkytown bar in May 2017 when a man, along with his male cousin and another male friend, invited her and her friend to a party. They agreed, and the man drove them to a house. But when they arrived, there was no party. After arriving at the house, the woman — who had been denied entrance from the bar earlier for being overly intoxicated — passed out on a couch. She later woke up to the man, Francois Monulu Khalil,…

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MN: Upcoming sex offense bills

[leg.mn.gov] Minnesota State Legislature bill search by “Crimes and Criminals-Sexual Offenses” The following is a partial list of proposed bills / laws regarding sex offenses that could possibly be up for a vote this legislative session. Use the link above to do a current search. 1. SF1730 / No HR introduced – Sex trafficking of a child added to the definition of “Substantial Child Endangerment” 2. SF1466 / HF409 – Terminating parental rights of the perpetrator for any child conceived due to the commission of a sexual conduct crime. This…

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