Former teacher to serve jail time after skipping sex offender treatmentsPublished 8:22am Sunday, May 13, 2012
Former Stewartville teacher and Austin resident Francis Skinness — who was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct last October — was issued 30 more days in jail for violating his probation.
According to the court minutes, Skinness skipped a sex offender treatment, which the judge found to be “intentional and inexcusable.”
Skinness, 66, was originally ordered to serve 30 days in the Olmsted County jail, pay $1,000 in fines, including restitution, participate in a sex offender program for an indeterminate amount of time and serve 100 hours of community service. According to court records, subsequent violations could warrant three years in prison.
The original charge came from allegations against him when he was a teacher at Bonner Elementary in 2009. Skinness reportedly touched a 9-year-old girl inappropriately on several occasions, according to a court complaint. The complaint said he put his hand down her shirt, touched her breasts and put his lips on her ears. According to Olmsted County police reports, several girls in Skinness’ third-grade class complained of feeling uncomfortable around him, particularly when sitting on the “hot seat” with him, on which students would have to sit between his legs.
“He appears to view his actions as ‘normal,’” District Judge Jodi Williamson months ago read from a report. “This attitude and behavior can be addressed by a treatment program.”
The report said Skinness maintains his actions were not sexually motivated, though he has admitted to invading the girl’s space.
As part of his conditions of probation, Skinness must register as a sex offender, abstain from alcohol, drugs and pornography, must not have access to the Internet, must not have contact with minors and must now attend Riverside Psychology Services Sex Offender Program. Skinness will report to jail on May 21.