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Chippewa County sex offender to remain in treatment

MONTEVIDEO — A convicted pedophile from Chippewa County will remain in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by a judicial appeal panel to deny a petition by Steven Allan Housman, 63, of Montevideo, for his full discharge from the program. In its decision released Tuesday, the court agreed with the judicial panel that Housman did not meet the criteria for discharge.

The panel denied his petition for release after hearing testimony from three licensed psychologists and concluding that Housman continues to pose a danger to the public.

Testimony indicated that Housman was not participating in the Sex Offender Program.

One of the psychologists contended that Housman was no longer a danger to the public, but the other two urged the panel to require continued inpatient treatment. One cited concern that without treatment, there was little assurance he would refrain from alcohol or substance abuse and, as a result, expose the community to risk. The other psychologist found that he showed beliefs associated with hostility toward women and exhibited impulsive behavior, according to the ruling.

Housman pleaded guilty in 1994 to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for sexually abusing a young girl. She was 7 years old at the time of the conviction.

He was sentenced to 58 months in prison and was just hours from being released from the Chippewa County Jail on Jan. 6, 2009, when the Chippewa County Attorney's office successfully petitioned for his civil commitment due to concerns he would harm the children he was originally accused of abusing. The original charges alleged that he was abusing two girls, starting when they were ages 3 and 4.

He remains diagnosed with pedophilic disorder.

Housman was among four of those committed to the sexual offender program in Moose Lake who attempted to escape in 2010. He was eventually convicted in 2014 of a gross misdemeanor count of escape from custody.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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