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Civil commitment petition filed in Stevens County for Level 3 sex offender

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MORRIS - The Stevens County Attorney's Office has asked a court to determine if a man who was found guilty of sexual assault in Stevens and Kandiyohi counties should be committed to a sex offender program indefinitely or released.

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Jerry Everett Pahl, 40, who listed his last address in Hancock, Minn., was scheduled to be released from prison on Monday, July 30, after serving a prison sentence for felony domestic assault. At a hearing Monday, the court ordered that Pahl, a Level 3 sex offender, remain in prison until the results of the civil commitment petition are determined at a hearing in November.

If Pahl is deemed to be a "sexually dangerous person," he will be committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) and sent to a secure treatment facility in Moose Lake, Minn., where he will remain indefinitely, said Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan.

Jordan said the decision to try and have Pahl committed was based on Pahl's history of crimes and his diagnosis of mental illnesses that impact his impulse control.

Pahl's first conviction stemmed from a 1990 incident at Morris Area High School. Then 18-year-old Pahl was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after school. According to the commitment petition, Pahl pled guilty to a charge of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

In 2007, Pahl was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree in Kandiyohi County as a result of allegations by a female vulnerable adult that Pahl sexually assaulted her.

Pahl is currently being held at the Kandiyohi County jail in Willmar until the final commitment hearing in November. The court will appoint an independent examiner to provide an assessment of whether Pahl should be committed. The commitment petition lists Pahl's nearest relatives living in Hancock, Willmar, Alexandria and Sauk Centre, Minn.

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services website, the MSOP was providing treatment to 653 clients as of July 1. Most participants in the program begin treatment in Moose Lake, and are transferred to a facility in St. Peter, Minn., to complete treatment.

More information about this case and the Stevens County Attorney's office can be found online at stevenscountyattorney.areavoices.com.

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Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune. 

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