What Does it Mean to Have a Level III Sex Offender Move Into Hopkins?
Information on the state’s sex offender registration and community notification procedures.
(UPDATED 2:38 p.m. Aug. 16) When Hopkins police announced on Monday that a Level III sex offender was moving into the community, it didn’t take long for residents to sit up and take notice.
Kenneth Edward Dean, 25, is moving onto the 300 block of Jackson Avenue North this week. In 2008, Dean was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony for which he was sentenced to 90 months in prison, according to court records. He was released June 18.
Police will host a community notification meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday at Gethsemane Lutheran Church. In order to help residents prepare, Hopkins Patch compiled this FAQ using information from state law, the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department.
Who must register as a sex offender?
Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Law requires registration of offenders who commit the following crimes in Minnesota:
- Murder while committing or trying to commit first- or second-degree criminal sexual conduct with force or violence
- First- through Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and felony fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct
- Criminal sexual predatory conduct
- Felony indecent exposure
- False imprisonment of a minor
- Soliciting a minor to engage in prostitution
- Soliciting a minor to engage in sexual conduct
- Using a minor in a sexual performance
- Possessing child pornography
As noted above, Dean was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The law also requires registration for certain offenders convicted in other states and under federal law. Those who are civilly committed as a “sexually dangerous person, sexual psychopath, or psychopathic personality” must register, too.
How long is registration required?
In most cases, registration lasts 10 years from initial registration for the offense or until completion of probation, whichever comes later. However, lifetime registration is required for recidivists, “sexual predators” and those who commit aggravated offenses—including crimes involving penetration and the threat of serious violence.
Dean’s registration is for life. Police say he sexually assaulted a woman who did not know him. The contact involved penetration and a weapon that was brandished during the assault.
What does “Level III” mean?
At the end of the offender’s sentence, a review committee determines the offender’s risk level. In determining the risk, it considers:
- How serious any new offense would likely be,
- Prior offense history,
- Personal history, such as treatment efforts and substance abuse,
- Availability of community support,
- Whether the offender has indicated he or she will re-offend and
- Any physical condition that minimizes the risk of re-offense.
That information is used to assign one of three risk levels:
- Level I: A low risk of re-offense.
- Level II: A moderate risk of re-offense.
- Level III: A high risk of re-offense.
Risk Levels I and II are not public information except as allowed by state law. Information on Level III offenders is available on the DOC’s website.
Dean, as noted above, is a Level III offender.
When must the community be notified?
All predatory offenders fall under the community notification law, but the type of notification depends on the risk level of the offender:
- Level I: Police keep information on the offender and disclose it to other law enforcement agencies. They may share the information with any victims or witnesses and must share it with victims who’ve requested disclosure. It also must share the information with adult members of the offender’s immediate household.
- Level II: In addition to the notification above, law enforcement may also share the information with schools, day care facilities and other groups and organizations that serve people likely to be victimized by the offender. Police may also notify individuals who fit the offender’s preferences or patterns.
- Level III: When the offender participates in programs that allow him or her to interact with children, the organization must notify parents who have children in the facility. Law enforcement must also notify members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter—unless public safety would be compromised or more-limited disclosure is needed to protect the victim. Typically, law enforcement hosts a meeting when a Level III offender moves into the community.
Will the offender be at the meeting?
No, state law prohibits the offender from attending.
How long is community notification required?
For the entire time predatory offender registration is required.
Is this offender dangerous?
In providing community notice, Hopkins police noted that Dean is not wanted by police and has served his sentence.
According to the DOC, 85 to 90 percent of sex offenders are not convicted again. The recidivism rate has also been dropping. In 1990, the three-year reconviction rate was 17 percent. In 2002, it had fallen to 3 percent.
Still, parents should always exercise caution. Click on the PDFs to the right of this article to read DOC pamphlets on safety tips for children and parents, common tricks used by child molesters and characteristics of adults who molest children.
Information on sex offender notification is also available in the DOC video above.