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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Informational offender meeting held to ease public concerns

  • Several dozen community members attended a public notification meeting Sept. 12 at St. Mary's auditorium in regard to Paul Andrew Alonzo, a Level 3 Predatory Offender who will be released from prison Sept. 30 and moving to the 300 block of Maple Street SE in Sleepy Eye.
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  • Several dozen community members attended a public notification meeting Sept. 12 at St. Mary's auditorium in regard to Paul Andrew Alonzo, a Level 3 Predatory Offender who will be released from prison Sept. 30 and moving to the 300 block of Maple Street SE in Sleepy Eye. The exact address and where Alonzo will work or go to school is not permitted to be released by the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
    Mike Schommer, a representative of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, noted that Alonzo will be under an intensive supervision program, the highest level in Minnesota, complete a sex offender program, have no direct (face-to-face) or indirect contact (telephone, e-mail or text messages) with minors, be under electronic monitoring for a period of at least 60 days, be involved in constructive work or education activities for a minimum of 40 hours per week, is restricted from drinking alcohol or going to bars, submit to random drug tests and abide by strict house arrest.
    Schommer said Sleepy Eye was chosen as Alonzo's residence because he has ties to the area that will provide him the stability offenders need, making him less likely to offend again.
    According to Schommer, Alonzo was charged in 2010, with criminal sexual contact of the third degree for sexual contact with female victims, ages 14-15. He was sentenced to 36 and 48 months in prison on both charges respectively, which were stayed, meaning he was placed on probation and as long as he followed the guidelines of his probation he would not go to prison.
    On Dec. 27, 2010, his probation was revoked and his 36 month and 48 month prison sentences were executed. Since then he has served the sentences imposed on him by the courts and he will be released on Sept. 30.
    Schommer said Alonzo will be placed under an Intensive Supervision Program, and will also be required to register as a Level 3 Predatory Offender for the rest of his life. In addition, Alonzo is required to register his primary and any secondary residences, where he works and the vehicles he drives. Alonzo will be under a supervision program until February 2024. Failure to comply to the intensive supervision program would result in Alonzo going back to prison.
    "No one wants a sex offender living next door or in the neighborhood, but where is an appropriate place?" Schommer asked when an audience member indicated where Alonzo plans to live will be near a church, school and a daycare. "Community education can be a double-edge sword. We give you the information, but we don't want you to feel uneasy." 
    Intensive Supervision
    The Intensive Supervision Program consists of four phases and offenders must complete each phase within the guidelines governed by a statewide policy.
    Phase one, which Alonzo will be placed on when he arrives, is very restrictive, Schommer said. It includes a minimum of four face-to-face contacts weekly, house arrest and electronic monitoring requiring a GPS monitor to be worn by Alonzo for a minimum of 90 days.
    Page 2 of 2 - As offenders move through phases two and three, house arrest and face-to-face contact requirements are modified as permitted by law to reflect offender progress, Schommer added.
    Phase four, the final Intensive Supervision phase, has less agent contact and a curfew.
    Schommer said all phases maintain random and unannounced agent contacts, as well as drug and alcohol testing. During all phases, offenders must be involved in constructive work or education for a minimum of 40 hours per week, Schommer added.
    Risk levels
    According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, as of Jan. 1 about 8,000 of Minnesota's 17,400 registered predatory offenders fall under categories assigned by a risk level.
    Level one is the lowest public risk, level two is a moderate public risk and level 3 is the highest public risk. The public is only made aware of level 3 offenders.
    According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, risk levels are assigned based on a variety of information including the seriousness of the offense, the offender's prior offense history, the offender's response to prior treatment efforts, availability of a stable and supervised living arrangement, family and social relationships, consideration of the offender's education or employment stability, whether the offender has indicated or credible evidence in the records indicate that the offender will reoffend if released into the community and whether the offender demonstrates a physical condition that minimizes the risk of reoffending.
    Currently, according to Schommer, there are 13 sex offenders living in Sleepy Eye and 61 living in Brown County. There are 308 Level 3 offenders in the state and only one, Alonzo, in Sleepy Eye.
    The assignment of risk levels is the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and offenders are subject to the Community Notification Act which is generally required for 10 years after release or until correctional supervision ends, whichever is longer. Some offenders, such as Alonzo, are required to register for the rest of their life.
    Resources
    Schommer cautioned those present to report any suspicious activity, but warned that Alonzo should not be harassed by community members.
    "Don't put your local law enforcement in the position to defend Alonzo to you," Schommer added, noting that any suspicious activity in any neighborhood in Sleepy Eye should be reported to the Sleepy Eye Police Department.
    Information about level 3 offenders is posted on the Department of Corrections website after a community notification meeting has been held.
    That website can be found at www.doc.state.mn.us. The level 3 predatory offender can be searched by zip code, name, city or county.
    The Minnesota predatory offender registry can be found at https://por.state.mn.us.
    The National predatory offender public website can be found at www.nsopr.gov.
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