Authorities disclose Information on level 3 offender
"Every 73 seconds in America somebody is sexually assaulted; And every nine minutes, that victim is a child." Source: Sexual Assault Services in Brainerd.
One woman said she is scared and asked how she could protect herself from a level 3 predatory offender moving into Crow Wing County.
Another resident asked why the predatory offender is moving to the rural Brainerd address and whether he had a job.
These were a few of the questions asked during a community notification meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19, hosted virtually by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. This is the first community notification meeting the county has hosted in a virtual format since the pandemic began. About 27 people joined the meeting and a majority stayed online for most of the estimated 90 minute presentation and question-and-answer session.
Community notification meetings are hosted to inform the public — not scare them about level 3 predatory offenders moving into a community, officials stated. The offender discussed was 29-year-old Lumasakila Izick Patterson, who is moving Wednesday, Jan. 20, to a facility on Johnson Road in the First Assessment District.
Patterson was 17 years old when he raped a 20-year-old woman in 2008 in Hennepin County, Brad Vandervegt with the Minnesota Department of Corrections said in his presentation. Patterson grabbed the woman, who was walking on a sidewalk, struck her with a fist and pulled her into the alley behind a building. He maintained control of the woman who was unknown to him through threats of violence. Vandervegt said the woman reported the assault and DNA was collected from the scene.
“In 2010, Mr. Patterson became known to law enforcemcent for another crime, not sex related, but that crime required DNA collection. Once that DNA was collected it was run against the state’s database, and a match was made. Law enforcement then charged Mr. Patterson, and he was then certified as an adult. Even though he was 17, at the time of the offense, any individual 16 years of age or older can be certified as an adult. This is considered an enhancement to the sentencing guidelines for these very heinous types of crimes.”
Patterson was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to 10 years in prison, including 10 years of supervised conditional release. Patterson served two-thirds of his sentence and was released from prison in 2017. Outside of the prison walls, Patterson is not wanted by the law, but is on intensive supervision 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Capt. Andy Galles with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office said Patterson will be monitored not only by their office, but by DOC, Crow Wing County Community Services and Minnesota Department of Human Services.
“Even though we might not be happy that he is moving into your community or your neighborhood, he is being monitored,” Galles said. “We are very confident in our monitoring program, or from the public safety standpoint, the risk of somebody like Mr. Patterson (to reoffend) is very low.”
Data shows 90% of the level 3 offenders do not reoffend, 90% are known to the victim and 90% have not been previously convicted of a crime.
Aric Welle, one of four supervising agents who will be monitoring Patterson, said intensive supervised release is the strictest form of supervised release the state of Minnesota has and possibly even in the Midwest. Every offender has different conditions they have to follow and their job is to make sure they are in compliance with their conditions.
“The giant object of the ISR (intensive supervised release) is public safety and to successfully integrate the offender into the community. Mr. Patterson will be meeting with myself, fellow agents and people with DHS to hopefully collaborate and, effort by all of us, to hopefully help him successfully reintegrate into society. And like Brad had already stated he has been in the community for close to 3 1/2 years ... this isn’t Day One for him coming out of prison. He’s been in compliance.”
Patterson will be wearing a GPS monitoring device and is only allowed to go out of the residence at certain times and the times are limited. Every morning, Patterson has to call his agent and give them a detailed schedule of what his plans are for the day.
“You have to earn the free time you have, you just don’t get it automatically and get to leave your house whenever you want. You don’t have to go fishing with your buddies or go to the movies whenever you please,” Welle said. “It’s based on ... your adjustment in the community.”
Vandervegt said awareness and education is key. If someone sees Patterson doing something suspicious or something he shouldn’t be doing, they should call 911 or leave a voicemail for one of the supervised agents at 320-223-7967.
“If you see him, and the hair on the back of your neck stands up and you have concern for someone’s safety or welfare who you believe that he may be up to some imminent harm, I want you to call 911,” Vandervegt said. “Your best and most direct resource for you is your local law enforcement and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office is no stranger to this population as you heard (Galles) talk about. They’ve been monitoring this population of folks for a very long time and they are good at what they do ... and they’d be happy to assist you and get more of your questions answered.”
Since July 1, 1991, predatory offenders in Minnesota have been required to register their addresses with local law enforcement agencies, who then forward the information to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which maintains a database that can be used by the law enforcement agencies, the DOC states on its website.
Risk levels are assigned to predatory offenders when they are released from prison. The level is based on their prior offense history, the seriousness of their crime and more. There are three levels of predatory offenders — 1, 2, 3 — and a level 3 predatory offender is considered by the DOC most likely to reoffend.
As of Jan. 1, there were 18,727 people required to register in Minnesota as predatory offenders with 56% as level 1 offenders; 29% as level 2 and 15% as level 3.
Numbers locally include:
202 predatory offenders in Crow Wing County, including seven level 3 offenders.
133 predatory offenders in Cass County, with six level 3 offenders.
97 predatory offenders in Morrison County, with five level 3 offenders.
55 predatory offenders in Aitkin County, with no level 3 offenders.
105 predatory offenders in Mille Lacs County, with no level 3 offenders.
Vandervegt asked people to keep in mind that all sex offenders are predatory offenders but not all predatory offenders may be sex offenders.
Heidi Fairchild, a victim advocate at Sexual Assault Services in Brainerd, said the reality is that every 73 seconds in America somebody is sexually assaulted. And every nine minutes, that victim is a child. Fairchild said they get their numbers from assaults that are reported.
“The reality again is that 20%, or less than 20% of sexual assaults are reported,” she said. “And out of those reported which are children, 93% know who their perpetrator is. And with adults, eight out of 10 know who the perpetrator is, or it is some acquaintance.
“Stranger sexual assault is very rare. And I know we do these community meetings and people are really worried about this perpetrator — this level three. And I don’t want to say it’s a blessing, but we do talk about that because we have a face. And he’s a known sex offender. Most sex offenders we don’t know who they are. So, the one who asked, ‘I’m a woman and I’m afraid and how do I protect myself?’ ... Be educated and know what the statistics are and having safety plans and even talking and working with your children, is very, very important.
“The best thing you can do is know, statistically, what, happens in sexual assaults and who the perpetrators are. And it starts young, and it needs to be age appropriate with what we teach our children, our grandchildren, and even in our schools. So the best things that we can do to be safe is to be educated.”
Fairchild said out of 1,000 perpetrators, five will end up in prison — and that is just the number of assaults reported.
Fairchild added that in Crow Wing County, Sexual Assault Services averages about 300-400 new sexual assault cases a year.
Questions from virtual audience
Galles fielded questions with people using the chat box to ask.
Sarah Simpson asked several questions, including if Patterson was able to go for walks independently; if he has someone with him when he goes to the grocery store or any public place; and she asked about children and teenage girls who get dropped off on the bus as their parents work.
Galles said this could be a situation where the parent could talk to the bus driver and the school noting a level 3 offender lives in the area. Cellphones also are good safety devices for children to contact their parents or a trusted adult.
“Call your law enforcement if you have any concerns,” Galles said. “Talk to your kids about the safety measures they can take when they are walking down the street and a stranger approaches them. ... be vigilant as that’s your best step.”
Another resident named Randy asked if people would be notified when the GPS monitor comes off Patterson. The answer was no, as it is not public data. Marsha Kramer asked if Patterson has employment in the area and how she could protect herself.
Another resident asked if Patterson knows the people he is living with and if they are DOC employees. The answer was he does not know the people in the home.
A staff member said the program Patterson will be a part of is run by a direct care and treatment agency from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. It is a home that has been in the community for more than 20 years. The staff member said Patterson would be monitored by two staff members morning and night. The home has an alarm system on all the doors and windows that alerts staff if he would try to take off.
The staff member said she could not give people all the information that would “make them feel better,” but said “we assure you, we’ve been doing this a long time and we want to be good neighbors and keep everyone safe.”
JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at email@example.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.