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Level 3 sex offender moves to Detroit Lakes, Minn.; arrived Monday

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - A Level III sex offender moved here Tuesday, the first one since the state Legislature 10 years ago passed a law allowing authorities to notify the general public about an offender moving to town.

Baca

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - A Level III sex offender moved here Tuesday, the first one since the state Legislature 10 years ago passed a law allowing authorities to notify the general public about an offender moving to town.

Detroit Lakes police on Monday held a community notification meeting about Robert Baca, 44, who reported to the police department about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

He was released from prison Monday and arrived in town by bus. He was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual contact and served a 111-month term for raping an adult woman he didn't know in 1996.

He was released Nov. 18, 2003, as a Level 2, said Minnesota Department of Corrections Agent Michele Murphy. Offenders serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison and the remaining one-third is served on intensive suspended release, she said. Baca was required during this time to have four face-to-face meetings a month with law enforcement officials.

On Dec. 11, 2003, his release was revoked for failure to comply with his release terms. He was sent back to prison for failing house arrest and using an intoxicant.

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He was released Tuesday with no restrictions, Murphy said. However, he must check in with law enforcement until Nov. 17, 2018, though and make them aware of his address, if he goes to school, where he works and any changes in his appearance.

If Baca should fail to register, Keena said the police department would notify the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a warrant for his arrest would be issued.

Baca is listed as homeless at this point, Detroit Lakes Police Chief Kel Keena said that will change when he "tries to rent something like anyone else."

He doesn't have family in the area, so he didn't have an address to list right away.

Although the police will not send out notices of his new address, the public can view changes to his profile, including if he leaves town, on the BCA Web site.

Murphy explained that due to data privacy laws, not all the information the law enforcement has on Baca is available to the public. For instance, she said, if he would move to 1493 Smith Avenue, it would be released that he lives on the 1400 block of Smith Avenue.

"We have a different level (of knowledge) of his plans than is public," Keena said.

However, at Monday night's meeting, both Keena and Smith said the public shouldn't just concentrate on Baca, a Level III offender. They said there are a number of various level offenders who live in the region and in Detroit Lakes.

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"We have handle a pretty good caseload (of offenders) the last several years, but this is the first time a Level 3 was released in our community," Keena said.

In Minnesota, there are 141 Level 3 sex offenders. Fifty-four of them are on supervised probation, and the remaining 87 are not. There are 49 registered predatory offenders in Detroit Lakes and 87 in Becker County. There are 14,000 predatory offenders registered in Minnesota.

Murphy said Becker County is about average in the region when it comes to registered offenders. For example, Mahnomen County has 27, Wadena County has 47 and Ottertail County has 131.

The Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Tribune and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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