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December 8, 2005
Judge Lets Level 3 Sex Offender Walk

In a mind-boggling decision, a Dakota County judge allowed a Level 3 sex offender -- the kind most likely to re-offend -- to walk out of a courtroom after spending two months without making required contacts or registering his whereabouts with the police. Jeremy Queen had turned himself in after a two-month search for the chronic parole violator and spent Tuesday night in jail. Thanks to Dakota County judge Ed Lynch, by Wednesday morning he had won release on his own recognizance:

A convicted sex offender wanted by police for failing to report his whereabouts turned himself in to the Dakota County jail on Tuesday night, only to be released the next morning by a Dakota County District Court judge.

Prosecutors, dismayed by the decision, said Jeremy John Queen, 26, has a long history of ducking authorities and violating par-ole. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said he will ask the judge to revise his decision and impose bail on Queen, considered one of the county's most dangerous sex offenders.

Queen, who was convicted when he was 17 for having sex with a 12-year-old girl, moved into a house near Apple Valley High School in January but disappeared two months ago. ...

On Tuesday night, after an article appeared in the Pioneer Press and related television coverage, Queen walked into the lobby of the jail in Hastings and surrendered.

After spending the night behind bars, Queen was arraigned before Dakota County District Judge Ed Lynch, who ordered him released on his own recognizance until his next court appearance, scheduled for Feb. 13.

Do we never learn? This man has been diagnosed as the most dangerous kind of sex offender, has twice been convicted for sexual offenses, and has consistently refused to meet the requirements of his release. He hacked off an electic bracelet meant for house arrest once in order to keep police from tracking his movements. Queen moved into a house less than a mile from his old high school. During his absence, a parent tipped police that she recognized him as the man her teenage daughter had recently befriended.

I'm not sure how many red flags Ed Lynch needs, but apparently the poor man must be colorblind as well as utterly lacking in sound judgment. Once the system managed to get Queen back under its control, it should have made damned sure he would stay there. Instead, despite his violations of the law, we have Queen roaming freely among the residents of Dakota County -- myself, my wife, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter among them.

Here's a picture of "Q-Ball", one of Queen's aliases. He's 26 years old and has a history of hanging out with 12-15 year old girls. Thanks to Ed Lynch, he's not wanted for anything any more, but if you see him hanging around arcades or middle- or high-school facilities or functions, better warn potential victims to keep their distance. In the meantime, we can't get rid of Ed Lynch as a judge, but the next time his name appears on a ballot to reconfirm him as a Minnesota jurist, let's all remember who he set free among us and vote accordingly.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 8, 2005 6:32 AM

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