Roseville sex offender meeting called off

A week and a day after the Roseville Police Department announced an Aug. 23 community meeting to discuss a level-3 sex offender moving into the city, the meeting was canceled. 

The man, previously convicted of criminal sexual conduct and released from prison, had chosen to live elsewhere.

Such meetings are a rarity in the city, according to Roseville police Lt. Erika Scheider. There have only been two in the past decade, and one or two more were canceled because the move-in was called off.

It’s unclear, she said, why relatively so few level-3 offenders choose to live in the city — in other communities such meetings are a more regular occurrence.

In this particular instance, Scheider said, when the city was first notified of the man’s plans for moving, he did not yet have a set address where he was to live and was only going to be in Roseville temporarily. Even in the short term, though, she said, the police department thought it best to keep residents informed.

“We certainly know that there’s concerns with the public with an individual moving into the community, especially a level-3 offender,” Scheider said. “That’s the whole purpose of the meeting: to really educate people and provide as much information as the law will allow us.”

Per state law, level-3 offenders are people who have been found by a statute-based risk assessment scale to have a high risk of committing criminal sexual conduct again.

Scheider pointed out such offenders are the only type for which cities can hold public information meetings. For level-2 offenders, people assessed to have a moderate risk of re-offending, she said police departments can only notify area schools and daycare centers.

With level-3 offenders, she said, more goes on behind the scenes beyond the meeting.

“The public notification is one piece of it,” Scheider said. “Any time we have an offender that moves in or plans to move in, we work closely with Department of Corrections, probation and some other social service agencies — The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, the school district ... that meeting is just one piece.”

Beyond the initial notification and preparation, Scheider said, the police department also performs random checks with level-3 offenders twice a year to confirm they’re living at their listed address and to obtain updated photographs of them.

Even through the Aug. 23 meeting was canceled, Scheider said, there’s always good reason to keep up with what’s discussed at offender meetings — they include more general public safety tips.

“The big thing we want people to do is not wait until a level-3 offender moves in to talk with their kids,” Scheider said, adding such discussions should center on who they’re talking to online, what they should do if someone approaches them or making sure they have someone with which to walk to school.

Another thing to keep in mind, Scheider said, is that sex offenders are often known to their victims. 

Per the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, “Those least likely to sexually offend are complete strangers to the victim, contrary to public beliefs. Most often, the sexual perpetrator is a known, trusted person to the family, the victim, the neighborhood or the community or workplace.”

Scheider said those with questions or concerns should call the Roseville Police Department at 651-792-7008. Other resources can be found at www.stopitnow.org/help-guidance and www.gundersenhealth.org/ncptc/jacob-wetterling-resource-center.

 

— Mike Munzenrider

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