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Appeals court grants child abuser’s release from program

July 23, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota appeals court has upheld a decision to discharge a repeat child molester from the state’s sex offender program.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services objected to the release of 46-year-old Jerry Gene Kerkhoff from the treatment program in which he has been enrolled for 20 years. Department officials argued Kerkoff still needs the “constant support and accountability provided by staff and peers.”

Kerkoff was originally prosecuted in Douglas County and sexually abused 41 children during his adolescence and as a young adult.

The Star Tribune reports the appeals court approved a “provisional discharge” which will require Kerkoff to have a GPS monitor and live in an approved residence. He’s barred from attending events where minors are present.

DHS officials have 30 days to ask the Supreme Court to review the appellate decision.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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