Mark Dayton, Lori Swanson disagree about whether serial rapist should be released

SwansonDayton.jpg
Swanson (left) thinks Dayton and other state officials are moving too hastily toward releasing a serial offender.
A few months back, a Department of Human Services board recommended that serial rapist Thomas Duvall be released from the state's sex offender facility in Moose Lake.

THE BACKSTORY: State may release man convicted of knife-point rape and another who molested 30 children

Governor Mark Dayton supports the board's recommendation. But Attorney General Lori Swanson doesn't think Duvall should be set free without additional scrutiny and will seek to block his release during a hearing on Friday, the Star Tribune reports.

State officials have taken heat from all over the world for Minnesota's 19-year-old sex offender treatment program, which currently houses nearly 700 inmates in the Moose Lake facility but has only released two offenders ever. Those criticisms only increased after 45-year-old Ray Messer became the first inmate to commit suicide at the facility in August.

Duvall could soon become the third offender to be released. After the DHS made its recommendation to release him, the last hurdle standing between Duvall and freedom is approval from a state Supreme Court Appeal Panel.

But Swanson is concerned Duvall will reoffend and wants the appeal panel to reconsider the DHS recommendation.

The Star Tribune details some of the reasons Swanson is worried:
Separate records obtained by the Star Tribune from sources show that Duvall's sexual "fantasy logs" -- used as a therapy tool -- contain "sexual thoughts and fantasies related to juveniles and sexual violence." Duvall's writings show that he objectifies women as "sexual body parts," mixing fantasies with memories of his past rapes, the documents reveal.

As recently as 2012, Duvall was considered "a high-risk" to sexually offend again, according to assessment records reviewed by the Star Tribune. In seeking to block Duvall's release, Swanson questions how an offender who was deemed unfit for discharge just a year ago could now be considered rehabilitated.
After Swanson first raised her concerns about Duvall's "fantasy logs" to Dayton, the governor wrote an email to DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson sharing Swanson's concerns.

"The sexual histories of almost all the sex offender clients DHS treats are horrendous," Jesson wrote, implying she still supports Duvall's release. "Sadly, the number of victims of Mr. Duvall is not atypical."

In an interview with the Strib conducted last Friday, Dayton said he's still inclined to go along with the DHS recommendation.

"Look, I share the same feeling as the public -- lock 'em up the rest of their lives, why should we take a chance?'' Dayton said. "But the real question is are we ever going to take responsibility for this backdoor, indiscriminate way of leaving these people warehoused forever?"

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
j.reiter
j.reiter

Either Mark Dayton is lying, or just showing that he does not have the maturity to directly confront someone that he disagrees with.  

Reading from the Dayton quote in this article, I take major offense to his claim that sex offenders that keep logs of their sexual fantasies are being "indiscriminat[ly]" locked up.  Are we to believe that a man who admits to wanting to rape people is a victim of not being carefully judged?

If Governor "Impartial" was really with the people, as he claims, he would use his executive authority to deny the DHS' decision.

Joshua Warren
Joshua Warren

I don't think Dayton should have been let out of treatment, let alone this sex offender...

Julie S. Johnson
Julie S. Johnson

Change the laws to be able to keep them for life. Their victims, if they survive, get a life sentence. Then become willing to pay the taxes to keep them away from society and their inevitable victims.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

What some of you are missing is they aren't being held on a Criminal sentance, MN found a loophole where it is a compulsory "Medical" hold. Basically using the same rules that one would use to lock up a sociopath or similar person who could be a threat to themselves or others. 

Seems the middle ground would be to just medically castrate them and be done with it. Save money and time.

Christine Brown
Christine Brown

if they served their sentence they should be released. if they are sentenced to life, fine. but if that's not currently the law, we have no right to keep them locked up. i have no love for rapists but we can't just pick and choose whose rights to withhold.

Ann Zaiser
Ann Zaiser

When anyone has served their criminal sentence, the law requires they be released. Any of us would want that guarantee. Perhaps we need a new law to allow permanent ostracization from society after release. Create a place where they can live and work and become productive again, but never have contact with the general population.

Katie Berger Tremaine
Katie Berger Tremaine

While I agree on an emotional level, I feel that if we are going to make this a policy, we owe it both to ourselves and to others to make it law that rape and child molestation are lifetime-imprisonment crimes.

Dawn Klaes
Dawn Klaes

Why can't we lock them up forever?

Jennifer Beth Mykleby
Jennifer Beth Mykleby

this is scary...interesting it's divided into a male female tug of war debate...Lori against release Dayton saying sure let him out..WTF Dayton??? it shouldn't be this way...they don't even have a pic of this man so if it be he is released we will recognize him if we see him..it's not fair or right to release predators in society to leave us citizens without protection from these monsters...sure that's the way it is release actual harmful people back into society but keep crowding our legal system with petty criminals...

Daniel McClanahan
Daniel McClanahan

Rapists and Child Molesters should never be released out into to the public, EVER.

Emily Christie
Emily Christie

It appears that you can't rehabilitate these people. If not, they SHOULD be locked up forever. Perhaps the rest of the world can let THEIR women continue to be raped and murdered and can shut it about here.

Jason Suess
Jason Suess

None of these animals should ever be released! And as far as them taking their own lives in prison...Great!!!! You just lessoned the threat to society and saved the taxpayers a lot of money...good riddance!!!!!

Kate Purdy
Kate Purdy

All I can say is remember Dru Sjodin

j.reiter
j.reiter

When it is determined that the criminal has a mental disease that will seriously effect others if they are released, then don't you think that it is in the public interest to keep that person out of society?  This guy is a rapist, he fantisizes about rape and his therapists understand his viewpoint that he does not recognized women as people, only as body parts.  Would you offer to open up your neighborhood to him? 

j.reiter
j.reiter

You do not have to caveat your explaination by admitting that petty criminals are in the system; this is one of those instances where compromise is not acceptable.  Mark Dayton is making an incredibly unwise decision that puts the women of Minnesota in danger. 

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...