Republicans question sex offender's release

Republican lawmakers will hold hearings this week to learn more about why a panel of judges voted to free a 64-year-old offender who has admitted to committing 100 sex crimes.
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Republican lawmakers will hold hearings this week to learn more about why a panel of judges voted to free a 64-year-old offender who has admitted to committing 100 sex crimes.

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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 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.

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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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WDAY reports 15-year-old Michael Bell was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in June of 2010 with a victim under the age of 15. Officials say the level two sex offender still has the right to a free public education. The teen must register as a sex offender through the year 2035.