In December, we covered a 43-year-old man's attempt to fight extradition to Minnesota after he was charged with inappropriate sexual conduct with three girls in 1993 and 1994. The 18-year-old sexual assault charges could force the man, who has not lived in the United States since 1994, could force the man back to Minnesota, only to face a life behind bars.
The British court that is handling his extradition case is still trying to determine if the man's rights will be respected if he is returned to Minnesota. One of the justices has made it clear that he is suspicious of the Minnesota sex offender program. Even if the 43-year-old is able to clear his name in criminal court, he could potentially face a civil commitment, which may mean that he stays locked up for the rest of his life.
As we have previously covered, only one person has been released from the civil commitment program and it is unclear when or if another person will be released.
One of the justices has described the civil commitment program as "horrific" and says that the sex offender program is punitive, despite being established for rehabilitative purposes.
The dean of William Mitchell College of Law has said that there is no guarantee that the suspect would not face civil commitment if he is found innocent of the criminal charges. Though the possibility that he would be civilly committed would lessen, it is still a very real threat.
Though many people accused of sexual assault in Minnesota are not dealing with extradition, this story reminds us that there is more than just a criminal punishment associated with accusations of sex crimes in Minnesota.
For more information, please read this previous post on the man's sex crime charges.
Source: Star Tribune, "Bloomington sex suspect battles extradition from U.K.," Ian Evans, April 25, 2012
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