Predatory offenders - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

Predatory offenders

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ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-TV) -- Week two of police academy was a little less fun, but definitely not less interesting.  We take you inside the academy class where we learned about predatory offenders, or sex offenders in our area.

"Him and this case started it all," said Rochester Police Lieutenant Al Kuehl, as a picture of Jacob Wetterling sat behind him on display.

In 1991 the Minnesota registry had only 500 offenders and today there are over sixteen thousand.

In Rochester, there are 2 Level 3 offenders, 14 Level 2 offenders, 52 Level one and 133 "not-assigned" offenders, meaning they didn't go to prison for their offense. There are also 8 female offenders for a grand total of 201 offenders.

"Stable housing and employment and things like that just they tend to reduce some of the risk factors that we see in terms of re-offending," said Kuehl.

One of those Level 3 offenders is homeless.

"We do not have a residential restriction just for being on the registry once these people reach the expiration date of their initial sentence. And there's a lot of misunderstanding because Iowa or Wisconsin has this rule, that we do too," said Kuehl.

Kuehl says the biggest misconception about sex offenders is that they will re-offend in the neighborhood they live in.

"The reality is that these offenders don't offend or have not offended where they live or by where they live because that's where their mostly recognized," said Kuehl.

Finding places for offender housing has become an issue in Rochester because many of the offender housing options have either closed or are up for sale. One southwest Rochester neighborhood may be the home of a new offender, something that's causing concern for neighbors.

"It's a tough request to make of somebody," said Kuehl.

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