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Predatory offender found guilty of violating registry requirements

Level 3 predatory offender Robert Litzau is returning to prison.

Litzau, 69, rural Backus, was convicted by a Cass County jury Thursday for the crimes of knowingly violating registration requirements as a predatory offender and second-degree burglary, both felonies, Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie reported.

The charges stemmed from incidents in the Pine River and Backus areas between May 5 and May 27. The investigation of the crimes was done by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension-Predatory Offender Registration Unit.

According to the criminal complaint, Litzau violated his registration after police found him living at a residence for which he was not properly registered. The burglary charge stemmed from Litzau breaking into the residence after the owner had kicked him out.

Litzau, according to court records, has a long history of opposition to his statutory duty to register as a predatory offender.

Records provided to Cass County by the Predatory Offender Registration Unit of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicate that on numerous occasions Litzau had completed sex offender notification and registration forms with a hand-written protest that he was signing under duress because it was his belief that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and law enforcement in general posed a threat to his life.

The guilty verdicts came after a three-day trial, prosecuted by First Assistant Cass County Attorney Barbara J. Harrington.

This was Litzau’s second conviction for violation of registration requirements as a predatory offender. He was convicted and sentenced to 17 months in prison for the offense in 2009 in Crow Wing County. Because of that prior conviction, the new conviction carries a mandatory prison sentence of 24 months.

A sentencing date has not yet been determined, but sentencing is expected to occur during the first week of December in Cass County District Court, Strandlie said. Litzau was taken into custody and will be held pending sentencing.

Litzau has a history of sexual contact with adolescent males, ages 14-15, and he was known to his victims, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. In 2009 he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after being found guilty in Crow Wing County District Court of serious felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Currently in Crow Wing County District Court Litzau faces charges of felony knowingly violating registration requirements as a predatory offender and gross misdemeanor obstructing the legal process. The charges were filed Feb. 3, 2011, after he was stopped by Pequot Lakes police for not registering new license plates or vehicles. During the arrest Litzau was accused of assaulting a Pequot Lakes Police officer.

Litzau’s next appearance in Crow Wing County District Court is an omnibus hearing at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22.