If convicted of a sex crime, the court will hold a sentencing hearing. These crimes range along a continuum from most serious to least. For the more serious crimes, prison is a likely outcome. To set expectations in any particular case, we look to the presumptive sentence under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines (or federal equivalent), any applicable mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and criminal history.
In cases where the client is looking at a presumptive prison sentence, prison might be avoided if he or she is found to be “amenable to treatment.” Built into this term implicitly is that the offender is admitting the crime, is not denying or is no longer denying it. For offenders convicted of crimes with a presumptive prison commitment, generally they will need to be accepted for intake into a inpatient, residential sex offender treatment program. The recidivism rate for people who successfully complete sex offender treatment programs in Minnesota is substantially lower than it is for those sent to prison.
Punishment versus Treatment
The initial impulse of most people is to want sex offender to be both punished and receive treatment. There is an inevitable conflict, however. If a person would like help with sex offender treatment for themselves or their child they often face a daunting dilemma. In Minnesota we have a “mandatory reporting of child abuse” law. This means that any treatment provider who learns of an incident of child abuse must report it to law enforcement officials. The therapist-client privilege and similar evidence privileges no longer exist in Minnesota, in this context.
This means that a person who would like to seek help overcoming anti-social human sexuality issues cannot do so if a child was ever involved, without inviting criminal prosecution. Any questions about these kinds of issues should be discussed with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney.
Treatment During a Pending Case
Generally it is not a good idea to enter into treatment while a criminal charge is pending. Even if no child was ever involved, prosecutors sometimes attempt to use medical records and treatment providers as evidence.
Questions? Call Minneapolis Sex Crime Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher at (612) 333-1500.