The sex offender law will be reviewed at an informational meeting

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/4/97.

An informational meeting on the new sex offender law will be held on Monday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Paynesville Area High School cafeteria.

ďThe meeting is just a means of informing the public of what could happen if and when a sex offender should ever move into Paynesville,Ē Bill Spooner, city attorney, said.

Will Alexander from the Department of Corrections will be speaking to those attending.

ďSex offenders moving into a com-munity is an emotional issue, no matter when it happens. We hope it will never happen here but chances are it will some day,Ē Spooner said.

ďThe law was designed to inform the public as to their rights and the offenderís rights and who the offender is,Ē Tony Schmitt, Paynesville Police Chief, said.

What is a sex offender? An individual who has been convicted of a sex crime...rapist, pedophile, child molester, or pornographer.

The person who is to be released from a correctional facility, that handles sex offenders, is required to register with local authorities and to keep those authorities appraised of any changes in residence.

The Paynesville City Council and Paynesville Police Department adopted a sex offender policy in December 1996 which went into effect on Jan. 1, 1997.

Sex offenders are ranked on three levels: level one, low risk of reoffense; level two, moderate risk of reoffense; and level three, high risk of reoffense.

In the situation of a level one offender moving to Paynesville, mandatory disclosure of the personís presence is only made known to the victim, the witnesses, other law enforcement agencies where the offender is likely to be encountered.

When a level two offender moves into a neighborhood, mandatory disclosure is made to victim, the witnesses, other law enforcement agencies where the offender is likely to be encountered, daycare establishments, public schools and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender, and the offender.

When a level three offender moves into a neighborhood, mandatory disclosure is made to the same individuals as in level one and two, in addition to any members of the community the offender is likely to encounter.

With level three offenders, additional disclosure of a fact sheet may be made. The fact sheet would state his prior history, offense characteristics, his or her photo and characteristics of likely victims.

The public will also be informed of the offenders rights to be free of illegal harassment.

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