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Continued: Hennepin County prosecutor in rape appeal removed over taunting e-mail

  • Article by: CHRIS SERRES , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 26, 2014 - 9:46 AM

Widseth then wrote, “P.s., I am also sending you an article on ‘low T’ — it might help,” before signing it “Yours in Christ — George Widseth.”

After the e-mail came to light, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman personally apologized to Gilbert. The county attorney’s office launched an investigation into Widseth’s behavior, but has suspended the inquiry while he is on medical leave.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, said he expressed concern about “the tone” of Widseth’s e-mail in a conversation with Freeman.

Duvall case continues

Meanwhile, the Duvall case continues. The attorney general’s office asked the court last week to order the Department of Human Services (DHS) to produce e-mails and other correspondence currently held by Duvall. The attorney general’s office has also asked for Duvall’s “fantasy logs,” which reportedly contain his fantasies of sexual violence toward juveniles.

A five-day evidentiary ­hearing on Duvall’s proposed discharge, in which victims and experts will be allowed to testify, is scheduled to begin before the Supreme Court appeals panel on April 4.

The Hennepin County attorney’s office said it continues to support the recommendation of a DHS review board that concluded last year that Duvall had shown enough progress to warrant recommending that the Supreme Court appeals panel grant him a provisional discharge.

Rep. Kurt Zellers, a Republican from Maple Grove who is running for governor, said county and DHS officials “appear to be doubling down on a bad decision,” and he encouraged legislators to recall Duvall’s crimes as they weigh reforms to the sex offender program.

“I don’t know how you have a discussion about reforming the system without addressing what it is that these people have actually done,” Zellers said. “This was heinous.”

 

Chris Serres • 612-673-4308 Twitter: @chrisserres

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