Search This Blog

Monday, August 14, 2017

No Mandated Jail time for Convicted St Paul Park Man who Sexually Assaulted a Child

Brandon Leigh Roach of St. Paul Park, owner of DBM roofing, 
1126 MARSHALL AVE , 
Recently accepted a plea deal from Washington County prosecutors for:
I: 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct to a child, victim under 16 609.343.1(g)
II: 5th degree criminal sexual conduct -Lewd Exhibition- victim under 16 609.3451

According to the criminal complaint Brandon Roach essentially psychologically tormented an 11 year old girl for a year with sexual advances via text messages, in conversation, and at least one time exposing himself to her. Eventually he escalated to sexually assaulting her after a year of abuse with sexual advances; forcing her to perform oral sex on him. He was charged with heavy level one felonies that could have got him a total of 24 years in prison if convicted:
Originally charged with: 
I: 1st degree criminal sexual conduct to a child, victim under 13 609.342 subdivision 1a
II: 1st degree criminal sexual conduct to a child, victim under 16 609.342 subdivision 1g
III: 5th degree criminal sexual conduct -Lewd Exhibition- victim under 16 609.3451

However; after 3 years in court he plead guilty for a weak 2nd degree felony with no mandated jail time (he gets less than a year) and just 25 years probation and only 10 years on the sex offender list (the max in MN).

Minnesota sex offender laws and sentencing guidelines are the weakest in the Country.
From Kare11 news story: “We know of no other state in the union with sentencing as weak as Minnesota’s for child sexual exploitation.”
Report: MN weak on protecting children from exploitation (protect.org)


Washington County prosecutors did not respond for a request to clarify on the case. We spoke to a Dakota County prosecutor who stated these cases are difficult to prosecute because they often lack physical evidence and the traumatized child victims often can not handle the stress of reliving the assault by testifying. This leaves prosecutors having to negotiate with child rapist defense lawyers who also know a trial would hinge on the fragile testimony of the child. 

It appears there was no physical evidence against Brandon Roach other than admitting the sexual texts to the child was inappropriate. The only apparent legs for the case were the expert child counselors and law enforcement who appeared to have no doubt the child's story was true.
Please contact our legislators and tell them to massively increase the sentencing guidelines on 2nd through 5th degree criminal sexual conduct MN statute 609.343 through 609.3451. Because it's clear that just because a child predator is charged with heavy 1st degree rape charges, does not mean they will be convicted of it. Therefore, if the punishment for ALL criminal sexual conduct crimes is raised than plea deals will be less weak. It is insane that a man who torments a child for year and then sexually assaults her gets a plea deal with no mandated jail time.

Aside from this article his name would not have come up on google for his actions. Tell legislators to also make the sex offender list public like nearly every other State in the County does. All but MN and Maine have public lists. Maine only has 2,700 sex offenders in their state though. Compared to nearly 20,000 in MN. see: Rampant Sex Crime on Children, in Just 2yrs, 10 Cases From County Alone, 8 Simple Laws to Update

Legislators to contact in Washington County:

Susan Kent (53, DFL)  
651-296-4166 
E-mail: sen.susan.kent@senate.mn

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Days and Times Washington County Legislators Plan to Attend 2017 County Fair

A few days ago we called and emailed the Washington County state legislators and their legislative assistants asking them if they'd like us to post the days and times they plan to be at the 2017 Washington County Fair August 2nd through the 6th. Not all of them have responded yet. 

The legislators will likely be by their party's booth. Senator Housley has her own booth that is on Commerce ave between the exhibit A and B buildings. See Map. If we had one bi-partisan issue to bring up with legislators it'd be to advocate for Sex offender law changes. It's a serious problem in our County and across the State. See our simple recommendations for Bill ideas based on our neighboring states:
Rampant Sex Crime on Children. In Just 2 years, 10 Cases From County Alone, 8 Simple Laws to Update

Senator Karin Housley (39, R) - "Every day, call Legislative aid to arrange a time to meet" (Rebecca Scepaniak (651) 296-1780)

Representative Kathy Lohmer (39B, R)- "Wednesday afternoon til 5:00  Thursday most of the day Friday 2-7.   Saturday afternoon 2-4.   Not on Sunday."

Representative Bob Dettmer (39A, R)- "It looks like the afternoons on ThursdaySaturday and Sunday."

Representative JoAnn Ward (53A, DFL)- "Thursday evening, approximately 5:30 to closing.  Will try for Friday night, but can't promise."

Representative Linda Runbeck (38A, R) - I'll be at the [GOP] booth on Saturday from 1-3pm. 

Senator Roger C. Chamberlain (38, R) - Not able to attend this year

Senator Susan Kent (53, DFL)  -  Not able to attend this year

Senator Dan Schoen (54, DFL) - "appreciate the offer. I don't have set time since I'm working at the police department. If I am able to stop up I'll post on social media that I am going and where I'll be"

Senator Charles W. Wiger (43, DFL) - Wednesday, 8/2--1 to 5 pm

Representative Matt Dean (38B, R)hasn't responded

Representative Kelly Fenton (53B, R)- "I'm there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday and Friday in the early evening. Saturday at noon."

Representative Keith Franke (54A, R) - hasn't responded

Representative Tony Jurgens (54B, R)- hasn't responded

Friday, July 28, 2017

$54,000 Gates Installed at County Park. Why?

In April the County approved spending $108,000 for two new gates at the Lake Elmo county park (page 69). The gates are nearly finished being installed and it's not the first site to get them. 

I contacted the County project manager Frank Ticknor and he kindly invited me over to view the plans at the new $17 million dollar County North Shop. The existing shop was a dilapidated building from the 1960's and needed replacing for the County fleet of vehicles. In 2015 we questioned the need to build such a over the top facility that cost nearly the same amount as the 130,000 sq foot Bielenberg sports stadium in Woodbury. Especially when most county shops are simply heated pull barns; more than adequate for their simple functions of storage and maintenance. Shop-Mahal aside, Mr. Ticknor generously gave me the 5 minute tour on the gate plans. He understood the reason I stopped in was to look into the cost. He provided proof of what I had expected to find with proper project award to lowest responsible bid, no cost over runs, etc. The gates truly appear to be $54,000 gates, motorized opening and closing, ground sensors, key pad, remote control entrance for staff, lighting, and cameras. 

Not wanting to waste his time, I respectfully asked the question that's on all our minds: Why does a humble county park need $54,000 high security gates? He stated he was not sure; however, there is a shop on the north end of the park. Pointing out, previously if staff wanted to get in the north entrance they'd have to get out of their car to unlock the gate. The new $54,000 gate operates with a key pad or with a remote (like a garage door opener). He stated the main entrance on south end also has these electronic functions and will provide the same convenient access when the gates are not in the open position during park hours. He stated the gates are more and more common around the county and encouraged me to look at the same model gate at the North Shop (see picture).

It makes sense why the North Shop would have this type of gate since they house sheriff patrol cars and equipment like the $183,000 trail groomer purchased last year (because the $80K option wouldn't cut it). But a park? I've been to all except a dozen of the 72 State parks and they all have your typical manual swing gate. In fact, these were the perfectly functioning gates that were in place at Lake Elmo before the fancy gates got put in. (see picture). 

One should not be surprised the county board rubber stamped this through. Our County debt has tripled in the last decade or so. Also, in four years of reviewing every board meeting and item vote, there has only been one project (a small public works job) to be voted down because of cost out weighing the benefits. In addition, only Commissioner Kriesel and Commissioner Weik rarely and symbolically position themselves as the sole no vote on something (about once a year). Purely symbolic is evidenced by the fact they'll vote no on a large project once and vote yes later on all future votes for it. Such as when Commissioner Weik voted no for the $6.45 million dollar bus stop in Newport, referencing the isolated location and horrible smell that permeates the air at the location; but has voted yes on the dozens of future votes regarding the site and corridor that was going to use the stop. Commissioner Kriesel symbolically voted no just once on one of the half dozen votes regarding the passage of the $170 million dollar take over of private sector garbage processing. The county appears to have no concern for cost when they approved paying $3.4 million dollars to rip up the perfectly good parking lot at the $80 million dollar County Government Center and repave it. The project was $1.1 million dollars over budget with the addition of fancy LED lighting on a facility that is only open during the day. 

The County runs 7 beautiful parks which equates to over a dozen access points that could potentially have these gates. All except St. Croix bluffs have 2 or more road access points. Is the County going to install these high security gates at more of the County run properties? It seems like wasted money as the county is considering doubling their fee on tabs to pay for our roads while we've given $51 million county tax dollars for the Gold Line and Red Rock Corridor. The County board members did not respond to explain. 

-Matt Behning 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Only in MN, Adult Who Claims Sexting a Child is Free Speech Halts 13 County Child Trafficking Cases

8-10-17 update: Petition was filed with the US Supreme Court by the accused on 8-4-2017. The Supreme Court will likely agree to hear the case thus further delaying the trials in Washington County.
--------------------------
Only in Minnesota, would there be a district court to not only agree to hear a case, let alone rule in favor, that sending sexual texts to a child would be protected under free speech. Only in MN would the appeals court uphold this terrible ruling. Or so it seems MN would be the only state too afraid to crack down on something even when it slaps us across the face. A freeway bridge tragically fell killing 13 before we put major attention on our crumbling and over capacity roads and bridges. We are the number one State for radical Islam recruitment to ISIS. We spent a quarter billion dollars on a MNsure website over 3 years before the Governor would admit this "Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable." We built a $350 million dollar Northstar light rail corridor that's so expensive it'd been more affordable to purchase each of the riders a new Toyota Prius every year for 30 years (Center for the American Experiment); yet we keep building more expecting different results. Minnesota sex offender laws are so bad that Minnesota was rated the state with the weakest sex offender laws according to study in this Kare11 story. Washington County alone has ten cases in just two years that confirms this finding by protect,org

This case, from Dakota County, is of a 41 year old adult who sent sexually explicit texts and messages to a child and is called Muccio vs. Minnesota. Due to the defendant challenging the charges, and favorable lower court rulings, it has held up most of the child trafficking cases in Washington County and across the rest of the State ever since. Washington County has caught over 30 men in child sex trafficking/ prostitution stings dating back to 2014 (see: wcwatchdog.com/stings).At least 13 of the cases remain in standstill pre-trial until the final ruling on this related Muccio case as it appears likely it will go to the US Supreme Court. update: Petition was filed with the US Supreme Court on 8-4-2017.

The Muccio case stems from 2014 when a father found his 15 year old had porn on his I-pad that he saw were sent to him via private messages on Instagram. He went to the police. Law enforcement found the porn came from Krista Ann Muccio’s Instagram account via direct message. She was cafeteria staff at the child's school Inver Grove Heights public school. It was found that Muccio and the child had sexually explicit conversations and had exchanged sexually explicit pictures. Dakota County charged Muccio with one count of felony communication with a minor in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.352, subd.2a(2), and a second count of felony possession child porn in violation of Minn. Stat. § 617.247, subd. 4(a). Muccio filed a motion at the district court to declare sexual communication with a minor unconstitutional under the reason of protected free speech.

The lower district court ruled in Muccio's favor on this act of sexually communicating with a minor was free speech. The judge was Patrice Sutherland; but her term expired after 27 years as judge, replaced by Judge Jaymie Cork . The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the disgusting decision after Dakota County challenged it. The judges in that case were listed as: 
"Considered and decided by" Judge Peter M. Reyes (Dayton appointed), 
"Presiding Judge"; Kevin G. Ross (Pawlenty); 
and Judge Tracy Smith (Dayton).

Dakota County challenged the MN Court of appeals decision bringing the case to the MN Supreme Court. Finally, common sense prevailed and twisted interpretation of the constitution failed, ruling sexual communication with a minor is not free speech. Dakota County prosecutors responded to email explaining Muccio's petition requesting review is due to the US Supreme Court by August 4, 2017. If filed by this date and accepted by the court than this could continue to postpone the 13 pending cases here in Washington County further. 

Cases like Ian Walford of Lake Elmo who in 2014 was arrested after he arranged to meet with who he thought were a 14 and 15 year old children for sex according to the criminal complaint. When Ian Laurence Walford arrived at the hotel he was arrested and stated people like him who “hypothetically” use prostitutes have needs and they may move forward with having sex with the underage because that’s all they have to work with. 

These 13 remaining County child trafficking/ prostitution sting cases (and future cases) depend on the Muccio court decision because the men caught in the stings were communicating with undercover law enforcement acting as minors. If Muccio takes it to the US Supreme Court and the law is found unconstitutional then the accused child predators can also claim it was their right of free speech to communicate with a minor about sexual acts. 

This 2007 law against soliciting minors and sexual communication with children, Minn. Stat. § 609.352, including the challenged section subd.2a(2) concerning the latter has been an area of focus for us at Washington County Watchdog.  Several of our all volunteer team, work hard to promote law change. Most of us are parents of children who have been sexually assaulted in Washington County by these predators. Sexual assault that could have possibly been prevented with better laws. 

Nearly two years ago we asked law makers to require sex offenders who break this law to have to register as sex offenders. They were successful on making this common sense request law; but only subdivision 2a(1) concerning soliciting a minor for sex. After the law went into effect Washington County stopped charging child predators they caught in their child trafficking stings with this crime. Pointing out the fact the accused would not plead guilty if they had to register. According to the County prosecutor Imran Ali, trial is very expensive and one case can back up the County Attorney's office. The criminal division prosecute over 800 criminal cases a year according to the 2016 budget (p,294). So like it or not, the county pivoted with the law change and started charging child predators responding to child trafficking stings with subd 2a(2), sexual communication with a minor because it doesn't require registration and they're more likely to get them to plead guilty and avoid trial.

We're working on getting 2a(2), sexual communication with a minor, to also require sex offender registration. If passed prosecutors won't be so easily pushed by charged child predators who know they can get a plea deal since there are still child sex crimes that do not require registration. Please check out our other logical bill ideas that all have passage in other States. Ideas such as lifetime sex offender registration instead of current max of 10 years for level 1 & 2 offenders.
Rampant Sex Crime on Children, in Just 2yrs, 10 Cases From County Alone, 8 Simple Laws to Update

Please also contact your legislators to personally tell them you'd like them to take the time to either author or co-sponsor bills to update weak MN sex offender laws and weak MN sentencing guidelines. The issue is bi-partisan with local legislators signing onto sex offender bill ideas we come up with. Most ideas being to make every child sex offense require registration. Examples include Representative Joann Ward (D) who signed onto a bill two years ago that passed to make the same punishment for Criminal Sexual Conduct the same whether the victim was 17 months old or 17 years old. Previously, punishments were lighter the older the child victim. Last session, we spoke with Senator Karin Housley (R) several times showing her our bill ideas. But time ran out before the March 8th deadline to author any. However, she added her name to HF184/ SF636 that:
1.) Make "Interferes with the privacy" of a minor 609.746.1(e)(2)  have to register as a sex offender if convicted
2.) Make stalking or pursuing a minor with sexual or aggressive intent 609.749, subdivision 3, paragraph (b) have to register as a sex offender if convicted

Representative Tony Cornish (R), chair of the Public Safety Committee, was the original author of this bill. He was responsive to us when we asked him to author the bill. We told him of Caleb Wolfgram on our list (about a 1/4 down the page) in 2016 he sexually assaulted a 12 year old child in the Forest Lake target. He had been convicted in 2014 and again in 2015 of interfering with the privacy of a minor for spying on kids changing in the Woodbury Gap store and in a tanning facility.

You can tell law makers about your child being violently sexually assaulted and give them the exact law to fix to prevent it from happening to someone else's child; but they are unmotivated it seems until the public catches on. One example of many horror stories, we contacted them about a recently convicted rapist in Woodbury who admitted unapologetic to police he raped a 13 year old girl "over 130 times;" but was only sentenced to 8 years. Convicted of having a significant relationship with someone under 16 and not child rape as he should have been tried. His name is Eric Duncan, DOB 8-31-1984; but you won't find him if you google his name... 

Follow us on facebook and twitter to stay informed of these local cases that rarely make it through the media.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Man Caught on Surveillance Fondling 13 y/o Child in Oakdale Fleet Farm now Charged

See all the charged and convicted sex offenders since 2015 in Washington County at WCwatchdog.com. Due to the massive length and size of the posts we could no longer list them on our  blogger page here. Stay up to date on the latest additions to the lists on our facebook and twitter pages.

-------------------------------------
Jesse Garrett Erdman of St. Paul was charged with 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct -Victim under 16 for "allegedly" touching all the private parts you can think of on a 13 year old female in the Oakdale Fleet Farm in Washington County in Late April 2017. He is related to the victim, but to protect the identity of the victim we have withheld what the familial relation is. 

According to the criminal complaint he was caught on video recorded surveillance allegedly stealing merchandise and fondling the child. From the report: 
"Law enforcement viewed store surveillance of the interactions between DEFENDANT ERDMAN and Victim 1, which showed: DEFENDANT ERDMAN walking through the store with his hand in the back pants pocket covering the buttocks of Victim 1; DEFENDANT ERDMAN kissing Victim 1 on the lips; DEFENDANT ERDMAN hitting Victim 1 on the buttocks multiple times over her clothing; DEFENDANT ERDMAN grabbing the genital area of Victim 1 over her clothes in a cupping and fondling manner; DEFENDANT ERDMAN's hand on the genital area of Victim 1 over her clothing;"

Date: 5/2/2017

Pic of Jesse Erdman, same DOB & city from public facebook

Jesse Garrett Erdman
DOB: 4/20/1989
Residence:
1461 Dale St NSt Paul, MN 55117
Agency: Oakdale PD
Charge: Criminal Sex Conduct-2nd Degree-Significant Relationship-Victim Under 16 yrs
Minnesota Statute: 609.343.1(g), with reference to: 609.343.2(a)
Maximum Sentence: 25 years and $35,000
Offense Level: Felony

Typically in cases like this the Washington County Attorney gives the accused child predator a plea deal to avoid spending money on a trial. If for some reason Erdman was not offered a plea deal and he was trialed and convicted of this 2nd degree felony, based on past examples, he will likely only have a sentence of 2 years in prison, no fine, and the max allowed probation by law of only ten years and 10 years max allowed by law of sex offender registration. Yes the law says he could get 25 years; but sentencing guidelines dictate the sentence. It could say the punishment is the death penalty and he'd still only get 2 years if convicted because of sentencing guidelines.

Please check out our sex offender bill ideas and contact your legislators. Public awareness and contacting law makers is the only way to get them to change weak MN law:
Rampant Sex Crime on Children, in Just 2yrs, 10 Cases From County Alone, 8 Simple Laws to Update

In addition: 

*In no way do we wish harm to the convicted sex offenders outside the judgement of the law. Posting each criminal's data allows the public to decide from the evidence if they appreciate knowing such data. Such as what these sex offender's last known address is. No representation is made that the individuals listed here are currently on the state's offenders registry. All names presented here were gathered at a past date. Some persons listed might no longer be registered offenders and others might have been added. Some addresses or other data might no longer be current. Owners of Washington County Watchdog assume no responsibility (and expressly disclaim responsibility) for updating this site to keep information current or to ensure the accuracy or completeness of any posted information. All data was only accurate at the time of posting per Government sources provided. Accordingly, you should confirm the accuracy and completeness of all posted information before making any decision related to any data presented on this site. The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Message us if you can verify us of an address or change in data.  Washington County Watchdog is not responsible for the accuracy of the content shared, refer to our linked government sources.