It wasn’t more than seven months ago that a Merrifield community notification meeting for Joshua Paul Rinde drew an emotional crowd that stirred those in attendance. Tuesday night’s community notification meeting for Rinde at the Brainerd Police Department proved to be just the opposite, turning out a quiet crowd of 18. Rinde, a Level 3 predatory offender, will be moving to the 200 block of Fourth Avenue Northeast in Brainerd on Wednesday.
Minnesota Department of Corrections community notification coordinator, Michele Murphy, opened the hour-long meeting with a power point explaining the process in which predatory offenders are released and the threat they can pose in a community.
“As of January 1, 2012, there were approximately 17,000 active, predatory offenders registered in Minnesota,” Murphy said. “There are 173 offenders in Crow Wing County and currently, 67 live in Brainerd.
“But what we do want to stress in this notification meeting is that most children that are sexually abused are not abused by someone on the sex offender registry.”
Murphy went on to say that 90 percent of predators coming through the judicial system for criminal sexual behavior every year have no prior convictions and there is only a 2.5-3 percent reconviction rate for prior offenders.
According to Murphy and the Minnesota DOC, in 1997 Rinde was convicted of indecent exposure as a juvenile in which he engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old female while she was sleeping. He was placed on probation for the crime.
In 1998 Rinde was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, again as a juvenile, against a 15-year-old female victim in which he used force for compliance. He again was placed on probation.
In 2002 Rinde was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 12-year-old female victim. He as certified as an adult and sentenced to 144 months in prison.
Rinde also had violated the conditions of his release last year by dating a woman who had young children. He served four months in prison for the violation.
Rinde is not wanted by the law enforcement and he will be under supervision of a DOC agent when he moves to the 200 block of Fourth Street Northeast.
Murphy also reminded those in attendance that once a predatory offender like Rinde serves their court imposed sentence, Minnesota law allows the offender to live in a community and carry on with their own life under the new supervised conditions.
“Once offenders have served their time, the law allows them to go to church, get groceries, continue their education and essentially carry on with the intent of a successful and productive life like the rest of us,” said Murphy. “Offenders will still remain under a strict supervision and we encourage anyone who sees any suspicious activity to contact the local police department.”
The meeting concluded with an opportunity for members of the crowd to ask questions but none approached.