Level 3 offender settles in Austin

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mark Bliven of the Minnesota Department of Corrections informs Austin residents about Robert Goodew, a Level 3 predatory offender living in Austin. -- Matt Peterson/matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com

A Level 3 predatory offender moved to Austin Monday, and community members learned last night more about what they need to watch.

Robert Goodew

Mark Bliven of the Minnesota Department of Corrections presented to roughly 40 Austin residents facts about predatory offenders and the specific rules that Robert Carl Goodew must follow. Goodew moved to the 700 block of Eighth Street NE and will be under supervision of several agents until February 2013. He is initially on 90 days’ electronic home monitoring, as well.

Goodew, 21, was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Freeborn County in 2009 for showing explicit videos to a 12-year-old boy and forcing him into sexual contact. Goodew was eventually convicted of third-degree assault. He was placed on five years’ supervised probation and ordered to register as a predatory offender; however, he failed to register — which is a felony — and was sentenced to prison time and recently released.

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While the Department of Corrections assigns risk levels to predatory offenders when it learns more about them, it assigned the highest, Level 3 designation to Goodew as it was concerned about his failure to register and the nature of his crime.

According to Bliven, Goodew must actively look for a job and can have no contact with minors. He cannot linger about the streets at night and must make daily phone calls to his supervising agents. Bliven urges anyone who sees Goodew not following his terms — such as talking to minors — to call 911. Goodew is allowed to do normal, everyday functions, such as shopping and running other errands.

“That gut reaction you have about people and their relationships they are in, pay attention to that,” Bliven told the crowd gathered at the Austin Public Library.

A woman who lives in the area expressed concerns and said, “I’m angered by his decisions and that the judicial system chooses to let this type of person who commits this type of crime go.”

While she wished to remain anonymous, she added because of the situation she is now paying more attention to her community and what’s happening around herself.

Since 1997, predatory offenders have been required to list their residences, vehicles, jobs and general whereabouts with the state. Goodew — a 5-foot-11, 213-pound white male with brown eyes and black hair — must list as an offender for a minimum of 10 years.

There are 17,000 predatory offenders in Minnesota, which includes those who have committed sex crimes, kidnapping and false imprisonment. Of that number, 287 are designated as Level 3. Overall, there are 83 predatory offenders in Austin and 49 in Albert Lea, according to Bliven. There are also 18 in rural Mower County. According to Police Capt. Dave McKichan, the last local Level 3 offender moved to Austin about a year ago; however, he left several weeks afterward.

Those with general questions may call the Austin Police Department general number at 507-437-9400. Residents may also call Goodew’s supervisors at 888-637-6237.