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Judge Speeds Challenge to Sex Offender Program

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A federal judge has denied motions for the immediate release of a man from the state’s sex offender program and the transfer of the only woman in the program to a less-restrictive facility.

But U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank also said in an order Monday that he wants to expedite a class-action challenge to the constitutionality of the program and set it for trial later this year. He told attorneys for both sides to come with trial dates in mind when they hold a previously scheduled pretrial conference next week.

The lawsuit alleges that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program is unconstitutional because it keeps offenders locked up indefinitely. Nearly 700 offenders have been civilly committed to high-security facilities in Moose Lake or St. Peter after their prison terms were completed.

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