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Fargo sex offender could see shorter sentence

A Fargo sex offender could see his prison sentence cut short by about one year, the North Dakota Parole Board decided this week. Joseph Gerard Gilbraith, 46, must undergo a review by the state's sex offender risk assessment committee, which will ...

Joseph Gilbraith

A Fargo sex offender could see his prison sentence cut short by about one year, the North Dakota Parole Board decided this week.

Joseph Gerard Gilbraith, 46, must undergo a review by the state's sex offender risk assessment committee, which will determine how likely his chances are to re-offend.

Pat Bohn, deputy clerk for the Parole Board in Bismarck, said Wednesday that if Gilbraith receives a minimum- or moderate-risk assessment, he will be released to a Fargo halfway house on March 22, 2010.

Originally, Gilbraith was sentenced in 2003 to serve nine years in prison for molesting a 14-year-old girl the previous year.

He pleaded guilty to the offense and was sentenced without conditions.

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"He did not have any supervision to follow after his release" scheduled in March 2011, Bohn said.

Parole Board members, who considered the case Monday, were concerned about the lack of conditions after Gilbraith's release and wanted him to work with a parole officer to help him transition back into the community, Bohn said.

Gilbraith, who has undergone some sex offender treatment in prison and is scheduled for additional courses, will have no conditions once his parole expires in March 2011.

If Gilbraith's risk assessment shows he is a high-risk to re-offend, he won't be granted parole, Bohn said.

During Gilbraith's sentencing hearing in 2003, Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick said the sex offender's history of alcohol abuse

Readers can reach Forum News Director Steve Wagner at (701) 241-5542

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