- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A 24-year-old man committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program since 2012 will become one of the few inmates to be released, a judge ruled Thursday.

After a review ordered by the state Supreme Court in April, retired District Judge Thomas McCarthy ruled Thursday that convicted rapist Cedrick Ince, formerly of Arlington, is likely to sexually reoffend, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/YCkhQh ) reported. But McCarthy dismissed Sibley County’s petition to commit Ince as a sexually dangerous person because he says there isn’t evidence that Ince met the legal criteria for commitment as “highly likely” to reoffend. He said Ince should be released quickly from the secure facility at Moose Lake.

The state Department of Corrections will supervise Ince until he completes probation requirements in about seven years. His probation will include intense supervision, as well as sex offender and chemical dependency treatment.

“Cedrick and his family are elated, and hopefully he can put it all behind him and be a productive member of society,” said attorney Ryan Magnus, who represented Ince. “That’s what you would want from anybody who was released.”

Sibley County Attorney David Schauer said he is concerned about the public’s safety.

“The underlying offenses he committed are pretty serious,” Schauer said. “The initial court commitment ruling said he was highly likely to reoffend. I don’t know what motivated the judge to change his mind.”

Ince has been convicted of criminal sexual conduct twice. He assaulted a 17-year-old girl who passed out at a party in 2007, and when he was on probation a year later, he raped a 19-year-old woman after breaking into her home. He told authorities he was drunk during both incidents.

Since its inception in 1993, the state sex offender program has placed only two of its 700 offenders on provisional release after they successfully completed treatment, and only six of the 450 offenders who appealed their commitments have had them overturned.

In Ince’s case, he was released on intensive supervised released until his commitment trial ended in 2012. During those eight months he got a job on a dairy farm, started court-ordered sex offender treatment and successfully dealt with substance abuse issues. Citing the unusual circumstances in his case, the Supreme Court ordered the district court to re-evaluate whether a less-restrictive treatment alternative might be available.

The sex offender program is the subject of a constitutional challenge in federal court and debate at the Legislature.

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

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