Appeals court upholds conditional release of sex offender

A man who has been held in the Minnesota Sex Offender Treatment Program in St. Peter since 2001 could soon be released, with provisions, after a decision by a three-judge court of appeals panel.

Thomas Duvall’s was convicted of rape and related crimes against six teenagers between 1975 and 1987 and, based on that history, a detective petitioned the courts to have Duvall civilly committed.

Nearly two dozen MSOP officials said in a 2016 hearing that Duvall has been preparing to reintegrated into society since 2009, including supervised off-campus visits, and has had no reported issues or incidents from his time in the community.

The Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, who opposes the release, called four witnesses in a 2016 hearing on Duvall’s release– a polygraph examiner, a court-appointed examiner, and two clinical psychologists who recommended that his petition for provisional discharge be denied.

The appeals panel concluded that the appellants did not meet their burden of showing by clear and convincing evidence that the discharge should not have been granted.

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