A Feb. 9 trial date has been set for a constitutional challenge to Minnesota’s sex offenders treatment program. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank set the date Thursday during a hearing in St. Paul on the case.
Four experts appointed to evaluate a Minnesota program that confines some sex offenders to high-security facilities even after they have served prison sentences said they need more time to complete their work.
A case about the constitutionality of the Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program is heading to federal court. Attorney Dan Gustafson is representing 24-year-old Eric Terhaar. Both Terhaar and 48-year-old Rhonda Bailey are both trying to get released from the program.
An attorney for officials who run Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program says the way experts are evaluating the program makes it impossible for them to issue a report favorable to the state.
Experts appointed to evaluate the Minnesota Sex Offender Program testified Monday that they found several people similar to a man whom that they say should be immediately freed without restrictions — and they plan to issue findings on those people by the end of the summer.
A leading Republican candidate for governor is calling for an investigation into how important documents were destroyed in the case of a high-profile sex offender. Thomas Duvall, 58, has a history of violent sexual crimes dating back to the 1970s.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has taken the unusual step of reversing the commitment of a man to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and sent the case back to a lower court for further proceedings. The high court reaffirmed Wednesday that courts must find sex offenders “highly likely” to reoffend before civilly committing them to the secure treatment program, which is the subject of a constitutional challenge in federal court and debate at the Legislature.
In Minnesota, there are 700 sex offenders kept away in indefinite treatment, more than in any other state. A federal judge warned that some of those men need to be let go because parts of the program are unconstitutional.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has budgeted $1.8 million for the possible costs of a court-ordered evaluation of the state sex-offender program.
Minnesota lawmakers are getting nowhere over how to resolve constitutional questions about the state’s sex offender treatment program, but the same can’t be said about the program’s costs. They’re going somewhere — up. About 50 new patients enter the program every year, a growth rate that threatens to swamp existing facilities in the next few years. A Senate committee on Thursday will review a request for $7.4 million this year to renovate and expand the St. Peter treatment center; another $30 million or more is on the drawing board for future growth there and in Moose Lake.
Minnesota legislative leaders sniped at each other Friday for a lack of progress in fixing the state’s sex offender treatment program despite a federal judge’s urging for fast action to correct it. Lawmakers acknowledged that no talks on the subject have occurred in about a month.
Minnesota lawmakers have a difficult job ahead. They must decide what to do about the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, now that a federal judge has ruled that it is broken and in need of repair.
The brutal murder of 22-year-old Dru Sjodin is one of the most notorious crimes in Minnesota history. Alfonso Rodriguez was convicted of raping and murdering Sjodin after she left work on Nov. 22, 2003.
Michael, an offender who molested a 10-year-old girl in 1998, served time in prison before being let out on probation in 2004. Then after five years of treatment on the outside, he violated parole and lied about it. He was then civilly committed.
WCCO’s Susie Jones begins a series of reports on the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, taking us “Inside the Razor Wire.” We begin with an exclusive tour of the Moose Lake facility.