County attorney fights against the release of sex offenderPublished 9:29am Friday, April 13, 2012
A high-risk predatory offender slated to move to Albert Lea next week may not be released into the community after all.
Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson told a group of about 50 people Thursday that he is fighting to get Matthew Alan Radke, 37, committed to a civil institution upon his release from prison.
Radke, who lived in Albert Lea prior to going to prison, is classified as a Level 3 sex offender — an offender with the highest risk of reoffending.
“We’re working very hard to keep this person from coming back to the community,” said Albert Lea police detective Frank Kohl. “The County Attorney’s Office is going to argue that this person is dangerous and needs to be kept from the community.”
According to a fact sheet released by the Albert Lea Police Department, Radke has a history of sexual contact with female victims, ages 4 through adult, including penetration. He used force and threats to gain compliance and was known to his victims, according to the fact sheet.
He was convicted in 2008 in Freeborn County of second-degree criminal sexual assault of a 4-year-old child and in January was sentenced for window peeping, also in Freeborn County.
He has also been convicted of a lesser sexual conduct offense, Kohl said. His victims all knew him beforehand.
Nelson said he filed a petition for Radke’s commitment last Monday, and the motion will be heard by a Freeborn County District Court judge on Monday. At that hearing he is also asking to have Radke held either in prison, the county jail or the state hospital until the commitment hearing process is completed — potentially four or five months.
Otherwise, Radke is slated to be released from prison on Thursday onto the 1300 block of St. John Avenue. Radke lived at 1307 St. John Ave. when he was arressted for window peeping.
“If he doesn’t get out that’s a benefit to all of us,” Kohl said.
Several residents expressed their anxiety about the potential of Radke being in the community.
Kohl explained that if Radke is released into the community, he will have to comply with registering as a predatory offender, including notifying officials about any changes to his address, vehicles, employment, haircuts and other physical descriptions.
“The fact is that Mr. Radke has lived in our community for a long time,” Kohl said. “There’s no sense of being any more afraid of him than you were at that time. If you live in that area, see him out walking around, know that he’s there.”
Nelson said if Radke violates his predatory offender registration there is a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison for first-time offenses and two years in prison for second-time offenses.
Tips to protect your children against predators:
• Make sure that your children feel comfortable talking to you.
• Report to police if someone is being overly friendly or touches your child in an inappropriate way.
• Talk to your children and let them know it is OK to tell anything happening in their life. Remind them it is OK to talk to trusted adults.
• Have a safety night to review the safety rules in your home.
• Revisit the topic regularly.
Did you know?
• Two out of three adult sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
• 93 percent of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.