The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 30, 2014

Sibley County sex offender ruling confuses

Lawyers, judges struggle with the case of Cedrick Ince that the Supreme Court reversed

GAYLORD — Uncertainty was the major issue Wednesday in Sibley County District Court as the judge, prosecution and defense struggled to determine the path forward after the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the civil commitment of a former Sibley County sex offender.

Cedrick Scott Ince, 24, is a registered sex offender who was prosecuted for two sex crimes involving rape in Sibley County in 2007 and 2008. The first took place Feb. 11, 2007, when Ince, then 17, sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl who had passed out after drinking at a party. He pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct in juvenile court and was placed on probation.

On Oct. 5, 2008, three weeks after he was placed on probation, he broke into the house of another acquaintance and raped her. He pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

He was sentenced to four years in prison and underwent eight months of intensive supervised release prior to May 2012. He worked on a dairy farm and rented a farmhouse from his employer during that time.

Sibley County sought to civilly commit Ince to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program at the end of his sentencing period.

The Supreme Court threw out Ince's civil commitment, which returned the case to Sibley County.

The Supreme Court ruled that Sibley County court's findings for designating Ince a sexually dangerous person lacked sufficient detail for the Supreme Court to make a determination. The high court also ruled the county had failed to formally determine whether less restrictive treatment alternatives were available.

Unclear, uncertain

Sibley County Judge Thomas McCarthy, Sibley County Attorney Noah Cashman and Mankato-based defense attorney Ken White each noted Wednesday that the Supreme Court ruling was confusing and challenging because the ruling lacked almost any guidance on how to address the issues cited in the court's ruling.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News