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This secure building in Moose Lake is one of two facilities housing people in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The other is in St. Peter. (AP file photo)
This secure building in Moose Lake is one of two facilities housing people in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The other is in St. Peter. (AP file photo)

Appeals court stays order on sex offender program

A federal appeals court has stayed a federal judge’s order requiring changes to Minnesota’s sex offender program.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the temporary stay on Wednesday in a two-sentence order. The court said the stay would be in effect as it considers Minnesota’s motion for a stay pending appeal.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank declared the program unconstitutional in June, citing problems including the indefinite detention of the people in the program and the rarity of their release. In October, he ordered changes including risk assessments for all offenders to decide which can be put on a path toward release.

The state has argued it is properly holding more than 700 offenders it would be too risky to free.

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