SLEEPY EYE - A public notification meeting regarding 22-year-old Paul A. Alonzo, a Level 3 Predatory Offender who plans to move to Sleepy Eye when he gets out of prison Sept. 30, drew several dozen people to the St. Mary's Auditorium on Thursday.
Minnesota Department of Corrections representative Michael Schommer said Minnesota has 17,500 registered sex offenders, 13 of them already living in Sleepy Eye, 61 living in Brown County. There are only 308 Level 3 offenders in the state.
"Sex offenders move quite frequently and change their looks," Schommer said. "Sex offenders have always been living around us and always will be. Level 3 offenders are higher risk offenders. Alonzo would be the only Level 3 offender in Sleepy Eye as of Sept. 30."
Schommer said there are no state laws limiting where sex offenders can live, but he admitted later that city ordinances regulating where offenders can live are valid.
"If we don't let released sex offenders walk free, we'd only cut offenses by 10 percent. Limiting where they live only affects where they sleep," Schommer said. "Eighty-six percent of victims are female. Most offenders know their victims before abusing them."
Schommer said Alonzo has a history of sexual contact with 14- and 15-year-old girls he knew beforehand in 2010. Twice, he didn't follow probation regulations and returned to prison after being released.
Alonzo plans to move to the 300 block of Maple Street S.E. in Sleepy Eye, which is less than a block from a daycare and a K-8 Lutheran school. He is scheduled to remain on intensive supervision until Feb. 22, 2024. He is required to register as a sex offender for life, and he must complete a sex offender program. He cannot have contact with minors including family members, and he is subject to polygraph and drug tests, electronic monitoring. He cannot consume no alcohol or enter bars, Schommer said.
"We want him to be pro social. Authoritative approaches to rehabilitation has proven to be ineffective," Schommer said. "Please don't harass him. Alonzo has served his time in prison. Please don't get between Alonzo and law enforcement. If he fails to register as a sex offender, he could face another felony charge. Law enforcement will know where he lives, what he is driving, and where he is working and/or going to school. He has a right to be in the community.Call law enforcement at 911 or 507-794-3711 if you see anything suspicious. Alonzo is just one of many offenders among us."
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).