Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The countdown has begun as to when the first patient from the Minnesota Sex Offender program to be released to a halfway house.
Clarence Opheim has admitted to more than 100 sexually predatory acts, many with young boys.
He has been civilly committed for nearly 20 years.
Now there is word he will be released to a halfway house in Golden Valley.
Golden Valley police and corrections officials will hold a meeting at the Perpich Center at 6 p.m. Monday night.
They expect the crowd to be big, so big that our cameras may not be allowed inside because residents will have first priority.
It is their chance to ask questions about what will happen when Opheim moves in.
“We’ve been talking about this for a while, not a good feeling,” said Dan Nordmarken.
Dan and Colleen Nordmarken have lots of questions about the man who will soon be their new neighbor.
Normarken wants to know, “what are they going to do, what is he going to do?”
The big questions, how will the department of human services monitor Opheim and what will stop him from re-offending, in their community.
“There is really nothing you can do. The guy is going to be here,” Normarken said.
In the shadows of the Minneapolis skyline, near Zane and Highway 55, Opheim will live in a halfway house.
There he will have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and be subject to random drug and alcohol checks.
State officials say he’s been given a provisional discharge from the state hospital in St. Peter and he can be snapped up for violating any of 32 conditions.
“I do suppose there is something to be said about redemption and everything, makes me a little bit nervous,” said Golden Valley resident Bill Reker.
Bill and Rebecca Reker want to know more.
They’ll hear from police and corrections officials at the Perpich Center Monday.
What we do know, Opheim’s phone calls will be logged and he will continue to get sex offender treatment while at the halfway house.
“I would be concerned about his movements I think at this point,” Reker said.
What many people in Golden Valley want to know is how much freedom Opheim will have to walk around the community.
“If I had younger children, I think I would be very concerned about it,” said Reker.
Lawmakers recently passed a law to require state officials to notify the community surrounding the halfway house where Opheim will be released.
Once again, that notification meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday.