Level 3 sex offender's move to Brainerd prompts awareness of predators | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Level 3 sex offender's move to Brainerd prompts awareness of predators

Posted: February 20, 2012 - 8:31pm

It’s part of a parent’s instinct: Protect their children from any and all threats. Whether it be a warning to stay away from a hot stove or the constant reminder to not talk to strangers, children heed the advice with care.

The recent announcement of Level 3 predatory offender Joshua Paul Rinde’s plan to move to the 200 block of Fourth Avenue Northeast in Brainerd on Wednesday has parents’ worry levels on high. But Rinde’s relocation to Brainerd has more than just worried parents, affecting the community as a whole.

In an effort to alleviate some of the apprehensions of a repeat predatory offender entering the community, Tuesday night’s 6 p.m. community meeting — required in Minnesota by the Community Notification Act — at the Brainerd Police Department will address concerns of community members as well as educate how Rinde’s addition to the Brainerd area will be carried out.

While focus right now is on Rinde, he is not the only Level 3 offender — the highest public risk level and most likely to re-offend — in the area.

According to the Department of Corrections report in September, there are 16,500 registered offenders in Minnesota, 184 registered offenders living in Crow Wing County about half of whom — 90 total — live in Brainerd. Crow Wing currently registers two other Level 3 offenders in addition to Rinde and Cass County has two:

• Brandon Keith Churchill lives in Birchem Circle in rural Brainerd and was released on March 7, 2011. Churchill has a history of sexual contact with females ages 12-15 and used force against the victims. It is also reported that Churchill’s victims knew him.

• Eugene Allen Wgeishofski lives on Birch Street in Crosby and has a history of sexual contact with females ages 15 to adult. Reports list that Wgeishofski broke into victims home, picked up victims while hitch-hiking and used force to put victims into a vehicle with a weapon before committing sexual acts against them. Wgeishofski’s victim’s were random.

• Dennis Anthony Lee lives on the 6100 block of 24th Street Southwest in rural Pine River and was released on March 14, 2011. Lee has a history of sexual contact with females ages 7 to adult and the victims were girls he knew.

• Daniel Paul Tomann lives in rural Pine River and was released on April 19, 2010. Tomann has a history of sexual contact with known females ages 12-15.

Relocating from Merrifield this is not the first community notification for Rinde and Minnesota Department of Corrections community notification coordinator Michele Murphy reminded community members that awareness needs to be made about all offenders in the area.

“Mr. Rinde is a Level 3 offender moving into your community but he is not the only (predatory offender) in your community, so I’d caution you about focusing too much on just him,” Murphy said in August at Rinde’s meeting in Merrifield. “If we just focus on Mr. Rinde then we’re ignoring 90 percent of the other threats to our families and to everyone else because those (offenders) have not been caught and convicted.”

(Information may be found at http://www.doc.state.mn.us)

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5858 or jessi.pierce@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jessi_pierce