Prosecutor removed from sex offender case

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hennepin County officials say a prosecutor who argued for the release of a serial rapist has been removed from case because of inflammatory emails sent to opposing counsel.

County attorney spokesman Chuck Laszewski says Assistant Attorney George Widseth will not be arguing on behalf of the county on the proposed release of Thomas Duvall from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

According to court documents, Widseth has made a series of personal attacks against state Attorney General Lori Swanson and Solicitor General Alan Gilbert, who is representing Swanson in the Duvall case. Laszewski says Widseth has taken a medical leave of absence until early April. Widseth did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/NwNh5K ) says the case involving Duvall is highly politicized as state legislators consider possible changes in a law that incarcerates sex offenders following their prison sentence.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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