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House votes to add notification requirement to releases from sex offender program

The House bill would apply to Clarence Opheim, who could be released from the sex offender program as early as this weekend. Existing law has no provision for notifying neighbors of the halfway house where he'll be living.
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The House bill would apply to Clarence Opheim, who could be released from the sex offender program as early as this weekend. Existing law has no provision for notifying neighbors of the halfway house where he'll be living.

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Human services commissioner says law requires man's release from sex offender program

Clarence Opheim has spent nearly 19 years in Minnesota's sex offender program. Now a court has ordered his release to a halfway house. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson says she didn't fight the order because it's consistent with state law.

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Clarence Opheim will be freed to a Minneapolis halfway-house after 19 years in the sex-offender program. The Star Tribune reports the 64-year-old is the first patient to be released since the program started in 1994. Opheim was convicted in the late 1980s of criminal sexual assault of a teenage boy. His whereabouts will still be monitored with an electronic ankle-bracelet.

Testing Minnesota's controversial sex-offender program

Clarence Opheim is about to be the first patient released from the Minnesota sex-offender facility in St. Peter. He could move to a halfway-house as soon as Saturday. The convicted pedophile has spent the past 19 years in the sex-offender program. Republican leaders are concerned and don't want the 64-year-old released, even though a three-judge panel says he has completed treatment.

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Clarence Opheim will be the first patient released from Minnesota's sex offender program in more than a decade. Police say their public meeting is not meant to spread fear, but to educate the public about the terms of Opheim's release to a halfway house.

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The new law requires that neighbors be notified if someone released from the state's sex offender treatment program moves in nearby. Previously, it only applied to offenders released from prison. Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill after it was unanimously approved by the Senate. A patient is due to be released from the treatment program next month.

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The Associated Press reports the bill would close a loophole in notification laws. The current law does not require the public to be notified about an offender first being released to a halfway house.

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