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Judge's ruling could mean release for sex offenders


New Jersey residents may be interested in a Minnesota judge's ruling ordering the state to revise its Sex Offender Program. After an offender completes his or her jail sentence, he or she is ordered into the program, which has not fully discharged a resident in 20 years. The judge said that the state has one more chance to change its program before the judge will institute his own remedies.

Among the suggested remedies included the release of some offenders to a less restrictive environment. If a satisfactory plan is not offered by state leaders, many of the 700 residents of the St. Peter and Moose Lake facilities could be released. The sites themselves may be closed as well if no satisfactory alternative is offered. It currently costs the state about $124,000 a year to house a single resident.

However, lawmakers are wary on making changes that may make them look soft on crime. Both the governor and the attorney general for the state of Minnesota say that they will defend the law, but they did not say if they would appeal the judge's ruling. The judge in the case said that proceedings in the case would being in August.

Those who are charged with a sex crime could face a variety of penalties. It may be possible to spend time in jail or prison in addition to facing personal or professional consequences. Therefore, it may be a good idea to talk to a criminal defense attorney who can create a defense to such a charge. It may be possible to argue that no inappropriate touching occurred or that any sexual act that occurred was consensual and between two adults of legal age. This may be enough to have the charge dropped or negotiate a plea bargain.

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