Kingfield sex-offender notification meeting ‘productive’

Approximately 80 Kingfield residents attended a sex-offender notification meeting held by the Minneapolis Police Department Oct. 8. The Level-3 sex offender, Shane Stephen Duncan, recently moved to the 3800 block of Nicollet Avenue.

Sexual Offender Notification Coordinator Jon Hinchliff said the high attendance was surprising — "somewhat amazing, given the Twins were playing in the playoffs" that night, he said.

Although residents had many questions involving the offender’s previous convictions and criminal patterns, Hinchliff said the discussion was productive. "They didn’t show up with pitchforks or torches," he said.

According to the police fact sheet, Duncan was last convicted of a sexual offense in 1995. At that time, he was 20 years old and his victims were between the ages of 13 and 14 years old. He chose victims based on acquaintance, the sheet said.

Hinchliff said over 11,500 registered sex offenders live in Minnesota and 250 of them are ranked as Level 3, those most likely to re-offend.

"I don’t care where you live in the metro area, you’re going to have a Level-3 somewhere," Hinchliff said.

He said because of that, he is grateful for laws such as the 1997 Community Notification Bill and the Sex Offender Registration Act, which require the police to notify residents within a three-block radius of the released offender’s presence in the community.

Hinchliff said such notice is a positive way to get correct information out to the community. He said six residents even signed up for a block club, to increase neighborhood safety.

Hinchliff said that at meetings, he tries to provide broader safety information people can take to protect themselves and their families.

One specific lure Hinchliff warned against is Internet chat rooms, which he said are now extremely common among sex predators.

"Young girls go there," he said. "Sex offenders do too, and make themselves out to be the next Justin Timberlake. Then they always try to set up a meeting, which really puts the young girls at a disadvantage."

In addition to informing residents of prominent threats, Hinchliff said he also tries to speak to potential victims. It’s extremely important for the assaulted to report the crime and especially to seek emotional help from a professional, he said. "The crimes horribly affect peoples lives," Hinchliff said.

For additional information, contact the Minneapolis Sex Crimes Unit at 673-2802.