High-risk sex offender stays in custody for now

ALBERT LEA — A high-risk sex offender slated for release from prison on Thursday in Albert Lea will be held in custody until a judge decides whether to commit him to a civil institution.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab on Monday ordered Matthew Alan Radke, 37, to remain at the state prison in St. Cloud, pending the results of a civil commitment hearing likely to take place in August.

Albert Lea police announced last week that Radke, who lived in Albert Lea prior to going to prison, was nearing the end of his sentence and planned to move to 1307 St. John Ave. in Albert Lea where he would live with a relative.

During a community notification meeting Thursday about Radke’s release, Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said he was going to fight to get the man committed.

Radke, who is classified as a Level 3 sex offender — an offender with the highest likelihood of re-offending — has previously been convicted of second-degree criminal sexual assault of a young child over a six-year period and fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct of a woman. Most recently, he was convicted in January of window peeping.

Schwab said he believes there is a serious risk Radke will do harm to himself or others if released.

Nelson said the Department of Corrections made a unanimous decision to label Radke a Level 3 offender and noted that he poses “special concerns” to the public.

Prior to receiving the second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, Radke allegedly attempted suicide.

He has also had problems with substance abuse, according to law enforcement.

As part of his sentence for the second-degree charge, Radke was to have no Internet access, no contact with minors, no pornographic materials and no alcohol or mood-altering chemicals, among other conditions.

However, Radke violated his probation by obtaining Internet porn and window peeping, Nelson said.

“He does pose an eminent threat to himself and others,” the county attorney said.

With each offense, Nelson said Radke’s victim pattern appears to have expanded. At one point, Nelson said Radke admitted to engaging in this behavior since he was a teen.

Radke’s lawyer, Ryan B. Magnus, argued a plan was already in place where Radke could be released to the residence on St. John Avenue and be essentially on house arrest until the hearing.

Magnus said the plan included GPS monitoring, no contact with minors or vulnerable adults and no alcohol or mood-altering chemicals. He must also comply with a chemical dependency treatment program. He said these protections would be in place for community safety.

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