Hopkins Residents Object to Predatory Offender in Community

At a community meeting Thursday, neighbors said they are concerned about the risks posed by Level III sex offender Kenneth Edward Dean.

Andrea Widmark lives four houses away on Jackson Avenue from a newly arrived sex offender.

Widmark and her husband have three daughters, ages 13, 11 and 4. She said there are a lot of mothers on the street and notes the offender, 25-year-old Kenneth Edward Dean, has additional convictions for burglary, underage drinking and other crimes. To say the least, Widmark was not thrilled to learn about her new neighbor.

“We are all targets. Our kids are targets,” she warned others at Thursday’s predatory offender notification meeting.

Widmark’s remarks echoed the comments of other residents, who worry about the risk Dean poses to women and children.

Dean, who also goes by Ubayy Dean Abdul-Ghani, has been classified as a Level III offender, meaning a review committee has determined he poses high risk of re-offense following an initial conviction of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Police have said that Dean sexually assaulted a woman who did not know him. The contact involved penetration and a weapon that was brandished during the assault. According to a Minnesota Court of Appeals opinion, he raped a woman in her car July 29, 2005, in North Minneapolis’ Folwell Park after threatening her with a gun.

Dean’s involvement in that rape was not discovered until 2007, when DNA from a Carver County burglary he was involved in was matched to the rape, said Russ Stricker, supervisor of the intensive supervised release program for Hennepin County Community Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“It still is a little unbelievable that a stranger-on-stranger rape gets only 90 months,” Stricker allowed, noting the normal sentence is 144 months.

But he said the law requires offenders to be released after they have served their sentence.

Dean was released June 18. He’s now under intensive supervised release—which will involve regular checks from his supervising agent, drug and alcohol testing and GPS tracking for the first several months.

Stricker described the initial eight-month phase of Dean’s release as tantamount to house arrest, with a requirement to submit a weekly schedule and follow it in detail. The second phase is similar, although the number of agent check-ins decreases and he can have up to three hours per week for approved activities.

What Stricker’s agents don’t have much power to do, though, is dictate where Dean should live—which in this case, is with relatives.

Those facts—and statistics suggesting the rarity of re-offense and that most victims are assaulted by people they know—didn’t placate everyone in the sanctuary.   

One woman, who said she was a rape victim, asked if she should purchase pepper spray. Another woman asked what she should do since her 13-year-old daughter has a friend on the street. A couple people asked what Dean’s victim looked like, presumably to predict the identity of a future victim. Others asked what effect his move-in would have on a nearby school bus stop.

The school district’s traffic safety coordinator is already re-evaluating the entire route and where the stop should be, according to police.  

But officials emphasized that Dean is just one person—and someone who is already known to the community.

Meanwhile, there are 47 registered predatory offenders in Hopkins, everyone else but Dean classified as lower-risk Level I and II offenders. The others . Parents should focus on protecting their children from all dangers, the officials said.

“Both Mr. Dean and the people in his house know we’re having this meeting tonight,” Police Chief Mike Reynolds said. “So he’s going to be looking over his shoulder wherever he goes.”

That's something Widmark wants to be certain happens: “I just want to make sure our community is very well represented and protected and that he knows: You are being watched.”


Total Number of Predatory Offenders

Hopkins 47 Edina 20 Minnetonka 41 St. Louis Park 47

SOURCE: Department of Corrections


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