Sex offender meeting held

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2001

The last time a Level III community notification meeting was held in Austin, it attracted 400 people.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

The last time a Level III community notification meeting was held in Austin, it attracted 400 people.

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Wednesday night’s meeting attracted 40.

Thomas Corscadden was the subject of the February 2000 meeting at St. Augustine Catholic Church. Three days after his release to an Austin residence, Corscadden violated the conditions of his release when he was caught downloading pornography at Riverland Community College, where he was allegedly applying for work at the Minnesota Job Service office.

"We’re doing everything we can within the scope of the law," said Austin Police Chief Paul M. Philipp of the efforts to safeguard the community, when a Level III sex offender is released.

Will Alexander and Steve King, agents with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, joined local law enforcement and victims advocates at Wednesday night’s hour-long community notification meeting.

The subject, Conrad Harry Kaus, 71, was released from prison May 7 and moved into an apartment, in July, in the 200 block of North Main Street, across from the Austin – Mower County Law Enforcement Center.

In April 1996, Kaus was sentenced to 98 months in prison for criminal sexual conduct. Kaus was originally charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct involving juveniles, in February 1995. The house, which has been torn down, was along Third Avenue Northeast near the Austin VFW Club.

In 1992, he was also sentenced for an indecent exposure incident, according to Alexander.

In 1954, Kaus was sent to prison in the shooting deaths of his in-laws at a southwest Austin residence. He served two 20-year sentences at the Stillwater prison before being released.

Alexander explained the Minnesota Legislature’s intent of the law passed in 1996, requiring the DOC and other law enforcement agencies to notify the public when sexual offenders are released into their communities.

Level III sex offenders, such as Corscadden a year ago and Kaus today, are assigned the highest risk level.

There are over 13,500 sex offenders in the state, according to Alexander, who also said, "The offenders would always have been there, but we just wouldn’t have known where they were without the registration and notification law."

According to Alexander, Kaus will be supervised by DOC agent King under the terms of the DOC’s intensified supervision release program. He will not be employed and instead will subsist on Social Security.

Movement from his downtown apartment can only be done with the permission of the supervising DOC agent.

Alexander ended his remarks saying, "If you see this guy around kids, let somebody know about it immediately."

Mower County Sheriff Barry J. Simonson said the registration program for sex offenders and the community notification meeting process were important to the public’s safety.

Saying all crimes need victims and perpetrators, the sheriff said a third component was "opportunity."

"A criminal can only commit a crime if he has the opportunity," Simonson said, "This closes that window of opportunity for Mr. Kaus."

The Crime Victims Resource Center joined the Austin Police Department in distributing materials on victims’ rights and child safety.

Call Lee Bonorden at 434-2232 or e-mail him at