After the 1994 high-profile rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka in New Jersey by Jesse Timmendequas, a sex offender with two prior convictions of sex crimes against small children living across the street from Megan, her parents—Richard and Maureen Kanka—made it their mission to change the law by demanding mandatory community notification of sex offenders. They argue that Megan would still be alive had they known of Timmendequas’ criminal history and that registration required under the Jacob Wetterling Act (1994)—which only required sex offenders to register with local law enforcement—was not sufficient enough.
One month after Megan Kanka’s murder, the New Jersey General Assembly passed a series of bills proposed by Assemblyman Paul Kramer that would require sex offender registry, with a database tracked by the state, community notification of registered sex offenders moving into a neighborhood and then life in prison for repeat sex offenders. In 1996, the federal version of “Megan’s Law” was enacted.
How Megan’s Law Affects Convicted Sex Offenders in Minnesota
Minnesota law requires sex offender registration and community notification. 90 days before being released from prison, the Minnesota Department of Corrections assigns risk levels to registrants.
The following are the three risk levels in MN:
- Risk Level 1 – Least likelihood of re-offending
- Risk Level 2 – Moderate likelihood of re-offending
- Risk Level 3 – High likelihood of re-offending
With a full name and date of birth, anybody can obtain basic information for free regarding a registrant through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s website. Detailed information is available in the county where the offense occurred.
Any offender who fails to register is subject to an extra five years of registration. Those who are convicted for a first-time failure to register charge are subject to a prison sentence of one year.