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Man Convicted Of Raping Child Not On Sex Offender List

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A St. Paul man convicted of raping and assaulting a child, once again faces charges. His neighbors were never alerted of his past because he isn’t on the sex offender registry.

Police arrested 60-year-old Elijah Caliph Monday, for attempted criminal sexual conduct. The victim is a child who lives in his building.

Nancy Rosenblum thought she knew the neighbor who lived down the hall for years.

“I’ve known him since I moved in,” she said.

So, the sight of police outside Caliph’s door came as a surprise.

“It shocked me when I found out why they arrested him. I said, you’ve got to be kidding,” said Rosenblum.

According to the criminal complaint, Caliph lured a boy to his apartment and then unzipped his pants. The boy ran and when police arrived they found an autistic young man inside Caliph’s home. The older boy denied any physical or sexual contact with Caliph.

“I mean there’s kids running all through this building. There’s children that live here,” she said.

Caliph’s criminal history includes raping a child back in 1980 in Illinois. It’s a conviction that Rosenblum would expect to learn about through the sex offender registry.

“I never knew it wasn’t just automatic. I took it for granted,” said Rosenblum.

The sex offender registration laws in Minnesota didn’t take effect until the early 1990s.

It doesn’t include anyone who completed their sentence before the law took effect.

“A lot of different issues trying to go back,” said Mark Bliven, with the Department of Corrections.

The laws also don’t include notification for level one or two sex offenders. The community is only alerted for a level three. The idea there, is that too many alerts would lose the effectiveness, when it’s really needed for those who are at the highest risk of re-offending.

“Worrying about all the registered offenders or have bad history in the state is probably not going to be that helpful to most people,” said Bliven.

Bliven said what is helpful is to really get to know the people you deal with on a daily basis.

“Know a little more about their background. That’s what we should be doing to enhance our safety,” said Bliven.

It’s a step Rosenblum may take more seriously to protect those around her.

“I’m the type of person that would let everyone else know the office know because that is not acceptable,” she said.

Part of the challenge in retroactively adding people to the sex offender registry list is inconsistent record keeping.

Right now, there are 17,000 registered sex offenders in Minnesota.

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