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Chippewa sex offender commitment to be decided

MONTEVIDEO -- Final legal arguments will be presented in the next two months before a ruling is issued on whether or not to indefinitely commit Steven Allen Housman, 54, of Montevideo, to the state's criminal sexual treatment program in St. Peter.

Housman, who is classified by the Minnesota Department of Corrections as a level III sex offender, was only hours from being released from the Chippewa County Jail on Jan. 6 when the Sheriff's office received an order to transfer him to the Minnesota Sexual Offenders program at St. Peter.

Housman remains in St. Peter, where he was returned after a two-day trial in Chippewa County on March 24 and 25.

Housman has served his 58-months prison sentence for a second degree, criminal sexual conduct conviction for offenses against a seven-year old female. Authorities in Chippewa County believe that if Housman is not committed, he will return to a rural Montevideo residence he formerly occupied. His alleged victims remain in the area.

District Judge Paul Nelson heard testimony in the case, and instructed attorneys to provide written arguments in May. He allowed for final responses in June.

He will issue a ruling on a state petition for his civil commitment within 90 days of receiving the responses.