West Concord residents gather for meeting on level three sex off - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

West Concord residents gather for meeting on level three sex offender

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

In a town of less than a thousand, this development is generating some conversation and concern.

"I was shocked that there was a level three sex offender moving to our town," Linda Sendle, a concerned parent in attendance, said. "I have two daughters, two young daughters and I'm just concerned about safety."

The Department of Corrections is releasing Jace Matthees from prison on March 15th and he's moving back home to West Concord.

He originally went to prison in 2006 for soliciting a presumed 14-year-old girl to meet for sexual contact.

Then in 2011, after being out of prison for three years, he was again convicted of criminal sexual conduct with an a adult.

When he was released, he was considered a level 2 sex offender, living in West Concord, without anyone in the community knowing.

Then last year, he was convicted of soliciting a minor again, and that's when he earned the level three grading.

That's why at Monday's meeting, organizers said it's not necessarily the level three offenders that residents need to be concerned about.

"There are other people in the community already that are at risk that we don't know about," Sarah Hustad, with the Department of Corrections, said. "So it's far better to learn generally the characteristics and behavior of someone who might be at risk rather than focusing on the known person."

West Concord Police say they hope residents remain vigilant, as always, of any suspicious activity, not just Matthees's.

Many residents were not set at ease by the presentation, but some say it helped to know authorities are keeping an eye out. 

"It hasn't taken my fear away but it gives me a little sense of relief that yes people are doing things to help," Sendle said.

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