Minnesota

Long-running Minnesota sex

offender case comes to end

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A long-running class action over the constitutionally of Minnesota’s civil commitment program for sex offenders has come to an end.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank on Thursday dismissed the final remaining claims. He cited a decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned his earlier declaration that the program was unconstitutional because few people had ever been released from it. The U.S. Supreme Court then declined to hear the case.

The dismissed claims dealt mostly with allegations of other rights violations, which had been put on hold.

The judge says he stands by his conclusions that some of the facts revealed during the trial are shocking to the conscience. And he urges the public and all stakeholders to carefully consider the complex issued raised by the case.

Minneapolis police to hire

advocate for rape victims

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis Police Department says it will hire an advocate for sexual assault victims, following a Star Tribune investigation that revealed pervasive flaws in the handling of rape cases in Minneapolis and other agencies around the state.

The Star Tribune reports that an advocate from the Sexual Violence Center will work alongside the department’s sex crimes unit and offer victims support, give case updates and expedite access to resources.

The advocate will accompany sex assault victims as they make reports to police.

The move comes after a Star Tribune investigation found that since 2015, there have been hundreds of rape cases in which police departments failed to interview witnesses, collect evidence or assign detectives. The reporting led to calls for sweeping improvements.

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