Austin sex offender in jail again for violating terms

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

AUSTIN — A sex offender who violated his probation and has still not completed a treatment program since being convicted in 2011 was sentenced Tuesday to another 180 days in jail. Francis Skinness — who was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in October 2011 — was re-sentenced Tuesday in Olmsted County Court. He will now take the sex offender program from jail.

The original charge came from allegations against him when he was a teacher at Bonner Elementary in 2009. Skinness inappropriately touched a 9-year-old girl on several occasions, according to a court complaint. The complaint said Skinness put his hand down the girl’s shirt, touched her breasts and put his lips on her ears.

According to Olmsted County police reports, several girls in Skinness’ third-grade class complained of feeling uncomfortable around him, particularly when sitting on the “hot seat” with him, on which students would have to sit between his legs. The original report stated Skinness said actions were not sexually motivated; however, Skinness admitted to invading the girl’s space.

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As part of his conditions of probation, Skinness must abstain from alcohol, drugs and pornography, must not have access to the Internet, must not have contact with minors and complete the sex offender program. Skinness previously skipped a sex offender class in 2012, for which a judge found to be “intentional and inexcusable,” and sentenced Skinness to another 30 days in jail. Skinness, now 67, is on seven years’ probation and was originally ordered to serve 30 days in the Olmsted County jail, pay $1,000 in fines, including restitution, participate in a sex offender program and serve 100 hours of community service.

According to court records, subsequent violations could warrant three years in prison.