Judge Speeds Challenge of Minnesota Sex Offender Program

Posted at: 08/11/2014 4:16 PM
Updated at: 08/11/2014 7:42 PM
By: Laura Lee

(ABC 6 News) -- A federal judge has denied motions for the immediate release of a man from the state's sex offender program and the transfer of the only woman in the program to a less-restrictive facility.

But U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank also said in an order Monday that he wants to expedite a class-action challenge to the constitutionality of the program and set it for trial later this year. He told attorneys for both sides to come with trial dates in mind when they hold a previously scheduled pretrial conference next week.

The lawsuit, brought on by the offenders in the program, alleges that the Minnesota Sex Offender program is unconstitutional because it keeps offenders locked up indefinitely.  However the state argues, the program was created to treat sexually dangerous people with the intent of release.  Problem is, in nearly 20 years, only one person has been released of the 700 offenders. 

As we reported out of 20 states with similar programs, Minnesota has the highest number of civilly committed sex offenders per capita.

ABC 6 did an investigation about this about this program.  To watch part one of the series click here.

To watch part two of the series click here.