Thomas Michael Ristau

After being convicted twice for molesting children, 27-year-old Thomas Michael Ristau has served just over two years in jail or prison for his crimes.

A petition filed by the Blue Earth County Department of Human Services could keep the Mankato man confined for the rest of his life as a sexually dangerous and psychopathic personality. A trial before District Court Judge Bradley Walker is scheduled for March 10.

Ristau was scheduled to be released from prison at the end of December. When the county requested an order to have him confined at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center until he could be evaluated for the court, Ristau requested to remain at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes.

Ristau has been in prison since July 31, 2007, when he was sentenced for a second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction. He was sentenced to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl that he knew, but received 209 days of credit for time he had served in jail an another year off for good behavior.

After reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, Ristau was convicted of a gross misdemeanor charge of criminal sexual conduct in April 2002. He had faced felony charges for sexually assaulting two boys that he knew, both under the ages of 10.

He had been accused of forcing both boys to touch him sexually numerous times over a two-year period. Investigators suspected there was a third victim, also a boy he knew under the age of 10.

Ristau was ordered to serve 75 days in jail and 75 days under house arrest. The jail term was later shortened and the extra days were added to his time on house arrest, according to court documents.

In October, when Ristau was nearing release for the prison term ordered in 2007, an “End of Confinement Review Committee” labeled Ristau as a Level 2 sex offender. The reviews are completed for all serious sex offenders when they are released from prison.

Most commitment hearings are requested for Level 1 offenders, who are considered to be the most likely to offend again. Jason Kohlmeyer, Ristau’s attorney, said the commitment request was likely triggered by things Ristau told group leaders while going through sexual treatment in prison. Kohlmeyer said, since the commitment petition was filed at the end of December, he has had a chance to read about 100 of the 3,000 or so pages of documents provided to him by Blue Earth County.

Ristau is currently in the process of being evaluated again by doctors in the Twin Cities, Kohlmeyer said.

According to the petition, Ristau gave differing accounts of what led to both convictions during his treatment in prison and during treatment he received after the first conviction. At times he vividly described raping the children, and at other times he denied doing anything wrong, the petition said.

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