SE sex offender committed for 15 months

NEW ULM — A 27-year-old Sleepy Eye man who refused polygraph tests in court-ordered sex offender treatment programs was committed to the Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections for 15 months last week.

Timothy I. Kotten, 28999 CR 27, Sleepy Eye, pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a minor online in 2013 after chatting with a police officer he thought was an underage female. He was fined $2,080, placed on three years supervised probation and sentenced to 15 days in the Brown County Jail. His probation conditions included successful completion of an outpatient sex offender treatment program.

At a probation violation hearing that lasted nearly four hours Dec. 8, Kotten said he could not complete sex offender program expectations because they wanted a polygraph (lie detector test) completed which he called unconstitutional, a violation of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination.

Representing himself, Kotten testified several times that the sex offender treatment program he enrolled in and others he considered violated his personal privacy and offended him.

Kotten was earlier notified of his probation violation for not completing the treatment program.  The district court found that Kotten violated his stay of adjudication conditions and the polygraph requirement did not violate his privilege against self incrimination. He appealed the case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals which ruled district court had clear and convincing evidence of Kotten violating his probation conditions.

Kotten appealed the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court which denied review, according to court documents.

A Minnesota Department of Corrections agent met with Kotten on Sept. 30 but he continued to refuse treatment. With Kotten’s probation set to expire in October, the agent explained his probation could be extended to allow Kotten to complete programing but he indicated a lack of interest in available programs, according to court documents.

In an order filed Dec. 15, Brown County District Court Judge Robert Docherty revoked Kotten’s probation and ordered him to serve a minimum of 10 months of his time in actual custody, and a maximum of five months on supervised release. Kotten was advised that the entire sentence may be served in custody if there are disciplinary violations. He was credited with 33 days served.

“The Defendant has intentionally and inexcusably violated the probation condition that he complete sex offender treatment,” Docherty wrote in his order. “(He) was clearly aware of his obligation to complete sex offender treatment, having been advised of this obligation at the time of sentencing, having violated this condition previously and having appealed the prior violation on this very condition.”

Docherty added that it would unduly depreciate the seriousness of Kotten’s violation if his probation were not revoked.

“Sex offender treatment is a central part of (Kotten’s) probation. His decision to refuse to attend treatment except on his terms demonstrates he is unamenable to probation,” Docherty wrote. “Failure to execute the sentence would essentially reward him for his continuing defiant refusal to reenroll in treatment.”

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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