Starbuck police, MN DOC hold public notification meeting
By Zach Anderson
Residents of Starbuck gathered last Thursday to be informed of level three sex offender Ryan Emmett Moore being released from custody to live in Starbuck.
Starbuck Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud said the meeting was to make residents aware of who is moving into the community. “Starbuck is still a safe place, there is nothing to be scared about,” Johnsrud said.
Sarah Hustad, Community Notification Coordinator of the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), gave the presentation.
Hustad travels all over the state to talk about level 3 sex offenders. She said that children who are abducted are very rarely abducted by strangers.
Level 3 is the higher risk for repeating offenses.
Moore officially moved back to Starbuck on March 27 and resides in the 200 block of Broadway Street West.
Law enforcement doesn’t want the public to focus on Moore, but be aware in general, Johnsrud stated.
One in every five girls, and one in every seven boys are sexually abused by the time they reach adulthood.
One in six adult women and one in 33 adult men experience an attempted or actual sexual assault.
As of Jan. 1, 2017, there were 17,680 predatory offenders registered in Minn. As of April 4, there were 13 registered in Pope County. The other 12 sex offenders in Pope County are not level 3 and therefore public notification isn’t available.
There are 9,565 people who have risk levels assigned to them in Minn. 1,401 level 3, 2,812 level 2 and 5,352 level 1.
Another 379 level 3 offenders were subject to broad public notification, according to information at the meeting.
Reconviction rates for sex offenders are very low and have dropped. In 1990, reconviction rates were at 16 percent, by 2002 they were around 2.5 percent. 2012 saw a 3.3 percent reconviction rate.
“Our goal is zero percent,” Hustad said. Hustad contributes the lower reconviction rates to stricter sentences and improved practices.
Of those most likely to offend next, 93 percent have no prior convictions and 7 percent will repeat.
“Most people registering are registering for the first time,” Hustad said. “Most likely it’s someone who is on no one’s radar.”
Hustad said that 90 percent of offenders were known to the person they victimized. And 60 percent of those were acquaintances, with 26 percent being family. Hustad said it will most likely be a person you know.
Another 67 percent are victimized before the age of 18.
“It’s caring, responsible adults that have to protect kids, all of us, not just parents,” Hustad said.
She talked about the three 90’s, 90 percent don’t reoffend, 90 percent of offenders are not previously convicted and 90 percent are known to the victim.
Registration for sex offenders
“Registrants have always lived among us,” Hustad said. “Just recently the laws changes to allow notification.”
Every time a sex offender moves, changes employment, changes address, purchases a vehicle, or switches schools they must register it.
“Anytime they change any information it must be registered. If they don’t, it’s a felony,” Hustad said.
What to do
Johnsrud said that the community plays a big part in letting law enforcement know about suspicious activity. To report suspicious activity call the police department at 239-2525 or 911.
Hustad encouraged families to have a family safety night a couple times per year to address a safety plan, fire escape plan, when to call 911, wearing seatbelts and bike helmets, bus safety and Internet safety.
She said to have children identify five trusted adults and their phone numbers.
To search for offenders in the state or answer other questions visit the MN DOC website at http://www.doc.state.mn.us.