Sex offender moves to Bloomington

A 78-year-old sex offender with dementia has moved into east Bloomington.

Information about Kenneth Macho was presented by representatives of the Bloomington Police Department and the executive director of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, Nancy Johnston, during a July 20 meeting.

Kenneth Macho
Kenneth Macho

Macho was provisionally discharged in March 2016 and lived in a supervised apartment in Minneapolis prior to moving to Bloomington. Due to his dementia, his cognitive skills have decreased and he requires more day-to-day assistance. He’s moving to a foster home setting in Bloomington, near the intersection of Bloomington Avenue and East 82nd Street, according to Johnston.

He will be living in a foster home that has at least one staff member on duty at all times, and he will not be allowed to leave the facility unsupervised. In addition to 24-hour staffing, the facility has alarms, and Macho can be tracked with GPS technology should he leave the facility, according to Chris Onken, the president of Zumbro House, the company that operates Macho’s facility.

“You will not see Mr. Macho walking alone,” he said, noting that if Macho is observed unsupervised anywhere in the neighborhood, residents should call 911.

The company provides care for people with memory issues and early onset dementia, and therefore the facility is designed to prevent residents from leaving without supervision or notice to the employees, he added.

The 24-hour supervision is for Macho’s safety, due to his dementia, as well as the safety of the public, according to Johnston.

“He shouldn’t be alone in his apartment setting,” she said. “He won’t get better.”

Macho was civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in 2005. Clients are committed by the court system because they are either a sexually dangerous person or have a sexually psychopathic personality, according to Johnston. Most clients have served prison sentences for their crimes, and counties petition for a client’s civil commitment, which results in treatment at the program’s Moose Lake or St. Peter facilities, Johnston explained. Macho was committed by Todd County and is one of nine clients of the program on provisional discharge, she noted.

Macho has a history of sexual contact with minor females age 2-13. Contact included sexual touching and penetration, and in some instances compliance was gained through intimidation and threats. Access to some victims was gained through babysitting, and Macho was known to his victims, according to the fact sheet released by the police department.

As of Jan. 1, 2016, there were approximately 17,500 sex offenders registered in the state. About 3,500 of them are in prison or jail at any given time. About 4 percent – less than 750 – have been civilly committed. The remainder live and work in communities throughout the state, according to Johnston.

The commitment and release of clients is determined through a lengthy court process involving a three-judge panel. The Minnesota Sex Offender Program works to help its clients prepare to live in a community. The program is not a prison, but is confused with the prison system, Johnston said.

Notification regarding clients of the program is required whenever they move to a residential setting, regardless of their history or potential to offend again, she noted.

Approximately 50 people attended the meeting. Police Chief Jeff Potts said the discussion should be used as a catalyst for parents and grandparents to discuss with their children and grandchildren the importance of safety and how to deal with strangers. The police department is aware of Macho’s presence in the community, but can’t be certain that there are no potential sex offenders in Bloomington at any given time.

“Please give that some consideration,” he said.

In the meantime, the police department’s investigative division will be responsible for checking on Macho as long as he’s a resident of the city.

“We’re going to be a really good partner to you to help keep the community safe,” Potts said.

 

Follow Bloomington community editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.