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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Child Predator by Forest Lake Public School Convicted on Stiffer Charges, Sentence Still Weak



Nicholas Scott Nehring of Forest Lake looks like an average clean cut guy. He lives in a nice home at 21122 Clydesdale Curve S. Forest Lake, MN 55025, a stone's throw from the Forest Lake Public schools. He doesn't appear to be the image of a sex offender which in many of our minds is a disgusting unkempt middle age man. The scary fact is Nick is a convicted sex offender. Even more disturbing is the fact most of the child predators in Washington County look like average looking people and there's hundreds of them in the County. According to a 2012 Patch.com article there were 280 sex offenders in the County.

See other articles warning you of released sex offenders in our area: http://wcwatchdog.com/local-sex-offender-articles/
We covered Nick Nehring in February 2017 when he was charged with only Sexual Communication with a minor 609.352.2a(3). A charge so weak he wouldn't have served any jail time or had to register as a sex offender. We added him to the list of public data at WCwatchdog.com, a list of dozens of charged and convicted sex offenders in the County. 

When the 2017 legislative session was ending in May and we saw the crime he was charged with and the sentencing guidelines for the crime were not going to change we covered Nehring again as one of the 10 examples in: Rampant Sex Crime on Children, in Just 2yrs, 10 Cases From County Alone, 8 Simple Laws to Update. We stated his charges were weak and the law was even more weak for punishing Sexual Communication with a minor. 

Perhaps something clicked in the minds of the Washington County Prosecutors because when details of Nehring's conviction came out this month we found the charges had changed to Criminal Sex Conduct-3rd Degree-Victim 13-15 Actor >24m older Statute 609.344.1(b). The facts of the case didn't change. The Criminal Complaint describes the parents of a 13 year old child found sexual communication with Nick Nehring on the child's phone. Forest Lake police investigated and found child porn of the victim and evidence of efforts online to find other child victims through dating sites. When police interviewed him under Miranda rights “He admitted that he communicated electronically with a female he knew was thirteen years old.”

So what changed the minds of the Washington County Prosecutors to up the charges? The county did not respond to question; but it's most likely due to concerned citizens speaking up and saying enough is enough. According to Kare11's article on how the sex offender bills were shut down last session, the County Attorneys Association in MN is one of the biggest opponents. The organization opposed stiffer sex offender laws stating the weak laws and charges "are valuable tools." Leading one to easily conclude County Attorneys generally like weak sex offender laws because it is easier to get a plea deal and avoid costly trial. 

One can not completely fault County Prosecutors for making plea deals to avoid a trial that could result in a not-guilty finding. The County board gives them a small budget with the task they are expected to carry out prosecuting several thousand cases from petty theft to murder. The State also doesn't do the County Attorney's office any help by issuing more responsibilities on their office. We explain in more detail of this dilemma in this article: 
No Mandated Jail time for Convicted St Paul Park Man who Sexually Assaulted a Child

Progress is slow to improve MN sex offender laws. It's good to see some good news that Nick Nehring was convicted of his updated charge of 3rd degree Criminal sexual conduct. It appears he will have 15 years of probation with a conditional 180 days in Jail if he violates probation. He will have to register as a sex offender for the current massively weak maximum of 10 years. Please contact our County legislators below to have them fix these laws. Here are our suggestions based on evidence from other states:  bill ideas for legislators

We encourage you to contact your legislators to fix the law; but most important is providing help to the local victims. Many groups are out there doing great work across the State. At WCW our focus is local, sharing Washington County related stories to emphasize the reality that sex crime is too common here. But our work doesn't help the shattered victims. So we highly recommend helping local victims through a local group called EmpowerSurvivors. They are a peer led 501(c3) non-profit group for those affected by sexual abuse. One of the many ways they help is by holding free weekly meetings in Stillwater as a safe place. They also host free and private online support on their website and blog. The founder, Elizabeth Sullivan, is a survivor of child sexual abuse and has devoted her life to helping victims here in the Washington County area. Every cent donated goes to their mission of "survivors helping survivors." Their new location in downtown Stillwater could use office supplies such as a printer, pens, paper and more.  Of course any donation amount helps. You can also use Paypal for a one time gift.


While the public can find hope and security if laws and sentencing guidelines can improve; the victims of sex crime in Washington County are left shattered by the crime even if the offender is punished to the fullest extent of the law. Contact elected officials; but also consider the important step of supporting victims. Please consider donating to EmpowerSurvivors here in Washington County. Find out more at www.EmpowerSurvivors.net 

Legislators to contact in Washington County:


*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. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

County Resorts to Propaganda Videos as Half Billion in Bus Corridors Continue Downward Spiral

To date Washington County tax payers have paid $51 million dollars for bus rapid transit corridors (yet to be built) with just the extra sales tax we pay. Millions more has been siphoned from our County's general fund to pay for the County's share of corridor studies. Additional hundreds of thousands have been spent paying lobbyists and "Communication services" to spin figures to make the project appear like it will be worth it's $420 million dollar price tag. This year we paid $150,000 to a company who's yet to work miracles and turn this lead into Gold. Our proposed Gold Line/ Gateway Corridor is such a bad idea that it  has not had direct state funding from the legislature since 2011 (also our proposed Red Rock Corridor). Last year we paid $550,000 to a similar company to rebrand and kick the dust off the proposed
Red Rock Line in South Washington County... it failed miserably as the BRT corridor has been downgraded to just bus route. The County corridor planner Lyssa Leitner appears to have been let go over the disaster as the county refuses to respond on her removal and a new corridor planner Hally Turner taking her place. The first corridor planner for the route, Andy Gitzlaff, was also apparently let go for his failure planning and now works for Ramsey County. The likely cause was the $6.45 million dollar bus stop he oversaw with just 8 riders a day according to the Pioneer Press 2017:  Few riders using Newport's $6.45 million bus station

The Gold line has had cities like Afton and Lake Elmo drop out and even Metro Transit show it can build an express bus route at a cost of just $9 million dollars and do the same job as the $420 million dollar proposed Gold Line. The facts are against the Gold Line and Red Rock Line. It appears the corridor planners are resorting to pure propaganda. They're no stranger to doing this with over a dozen youtube videos posted claiming everything from how people will become more healthy to the elderly will regain freedom and independence (Completely ignoring the fact the elderly can get door to door service with Metro Mobility). The videos lack any reference to cost or data to back up claims it will be efficient winding down on the shoulders of back roads of I-94 to St. Paul from Woodbury at a cost of nearly $10 million a year to operate. (Claiming the shoulder is a dedicated lane)

In addition to ignoring hard data in their youtube videos the planners take trips around the country to tour transit corridors in completely different settings than ours to film more propaganda videos. Places like Cincinnati, Washington D.C., California, and Oregon. In 2014 they traveled to Orange Line in L.A. with millions more in population compared to our area around the Gold line. They came home and made a youtube video claiming there's "success" in LA's corridor and use and therefore we should build our corridor too showing no supportive data. Ignoring the fact Gas costs almost twice as much out there, they have a multiple times more densely populated city, horrific congestion, and the weather serves better for walking to a station, waiting, and then walking to your destination from the stop. Try that in below freezing.

Much different Emerald Route in Oregon
The latest propaganda video was posted this month after their trip to Oregon and again it's another video trying to show how a very different route across the Country somehow proves success will happen with our Gold Line. No comparative data at all. The corridor is the Emerald route, a 12 mile route between Downtown Eugene and Downtown Springfield Oregon. With 25 stations the "success" of this Line is because they offered FREE rides the first year it was open! When the first four mile stretch opened it served 2,700 riders a weekday (weak) and the Gold line thinks it will get 8,000! Today the Emerald route is more popular because it serves students and residents on one side of the Williamette River to bring them to destinations on the other side of the river.
The Emerald Line is in the HEART of the University of Oregon in Eugene with 25,000 students, most students are without a car. The route goes on one of the most densely populated streets in the State (a walkable community) to another one of the most densely populated cities in Oregon, downtown Springfield. The streets compare with those on our Green line between the twin cities in MN, NOT the Gold line running down back roads in non-walkable communities by the freeway. The Emerald line directly passes 4 public schools, 2 public libraries, a huge state college, a massive hospital complex (Riverbend), a few hotels, many apartment buildings, a big mall (Gateway), stores like Target (two of them), Walmart, Khol's, Hobby Lobby, Best Buy, Staples, whole foods, an Arena, movie theater, an event's center, and countless fast food and outlet stores. The Gold Line winds down back roads next to Interstate 94. Leaving from an old shopping center in Woodbury away from residential areas, goes through a couple blocks of stores in Oakdale, goes to a crime infested Sun Ray shopping center, and down a slow ride to the Union Depot that's down by the river and not in the heart of St. Paul. (source google earth the Emerald Line's route) The Emerald line uses truly exclusive bus only lanes, raised station stops with level platforms, programmed "signal priority" traffic lights, and it goes in a straight line down 60% dedicated lanes (with a turn into Springfield). The Gold line will ride down existing road's shoulders. Lastly, the Emerald Line is in such a densely populated area they don't even have park and ride stations (like MN's green line). To compare the $95 million dollar Emerald Line to the $420 million dollar Gold Line is like showing the impressive features of a $100,000 Porsche on the best track in Europe to a $500,000 Indy car to ride down horrible city streets, stopping every block for a stop light to be completely inconvenient and costly. The Emerald line now claims to serve millions a year, at a known 1/4 of the cost, to an ideal densely populated
community and shopping and dense residential areas that can easily walk to the stops. Students in Oregon probably like being able to hop on the Emerald Line and get to shopping in Springfield. The Gold line has unrealistic ridership claims serving hardly any riders who could walk to a station, serves a long ride to St. Paul where many Washington County residents don't find a need to go (shopping and work in WC). It's an inconvenient mode of travel compared to driving or riding Express Bus. Last year a transit planner said it the best: "Auto is still the primary way to get around and that's not going to change" -Steve Wilson Gold line Transit Planning moderator Speaking about Met Council's latest study revealing only 3% of metro commutes are on Mass Transit. 

At what point will the County realize that BRT belongs in dense urban areas and not in areas with single family homes and successful park and ride express bus that rides on the freeway? The least the County could do is save tax payers $250,000 a year between the Gold and Red Rock and stop funding the Propaganda machine that feeds us hype from across the country.

Monday, August 14, 2017

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

See more articles like this warning you of released sex offenders in our area: http://wcwatchdog.com/local-sex-offender-articles/

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

We encourage you to contact your legislators to fix the law; but most important is providing help to the local victims. Many groups are out there doing great work across the State. At WCW our focus is local, sharing Washington County related stories to emphasize the reality that sex crime is too common here. But our work doesn't help the shattered victims. So we highly recommend helping local victims through a local group called EmpowerSurvivors. They are a peer led 501(c3) non-profit group for those affected by sexual abuse. One of the many ways they help is by holding free weekly meetings in Stillwater as a safe place. They also host free and private online support on their website and blog. The founder, Elizabeth Sullivan, is a survivor of child sexual abuse and has devoted her life to helping victims here in the Washington County area. Every cent donated goes to their mission of "survivors helping survivors." Their new location in downtown Stillwater could use office supplies such as a printer, pens, paper and more.  Of course any donation amount helps. You can also use Paypal for a one time gift.

While the public can find hope and security if laws and sentencing guidelines can improve; the victims of sex crime in Washington County are left shattered by the crime even if the offender is punished to the fullest extent of the law. Contact elected officials; but also consider the important step of supporting victims. Please consider donating to EmpowerSurvivors here in Washington County. Find out more at www.EmpowerSurvivors.net 

Legislators to contact in Washington County:

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

Dan Schoen (54, DFL)  
651-297-8060 
E-mail: sen.dan.schoen@senate.mn
Charles W. Wiger (43, DFL) 
651-296-6820 
E-mail: sen.chuck.wiger@senate.mn

*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. 

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