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Concerns raised about sex offender release

A community notification meeting was held Monday evening to warn residents of Austin's east side about a newly released Level III sex offender who will be living there.

Robert Carl Goodew, 21, moved to the 700 block of Eighth Street Northeast on Monday, according to the Austin Police Department. He has a history of physical assault and attempted sexual contact with a juvenile male, according to police.

An Austin Police Department fact sheet describes Goodew as white, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 213 pounds, with a fair complexion, brown eyes, black hair and a large build.

State law requires that law enforcement release this information to the public. Level 3 predatory sex offenders are considered at greatest risk of re-offending.

Residents of the neighborhood voiced concern during the hour-and-a-half long discussion in the large room of the Austin Public Library.


Mark Bliven, Program Director for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, said Goodew's offense took place in Freeborn County in a public place with no adults around.

Goodew was not convicted of a sex offense but he was convicted of assault, but because he was only 18 years old at the time, a one-year prison sentence was stayed in favor of five years of probation.

Bliven explained that someone doesn’t have to be convicted of a sex offense to get a level-3 risk rating. Goodew initially didn't follow terms of probation and was put back in prison, and later he failed to register with police as required, and he was again returned to prison.

Inability to comply with registration showed his instability, "and now he’s going to be severely restricted," Bliven said.

The DOC’s Troy Diekman, who was at the meeting, is the lead agent for Goodew’s "Intensive Supervised Release" team. For the next 90 days, the new resident will be monitored with a GPS system and will be closely watched by Diekman's agents, with the help of neighbors.

"The reason we’re having a community meeting is so you can be eyes," Bliven said. "Your best contribution is to keep him honest. If you see something suspicious, call 911."

Goodew is not allowed to communicate with minors in any way, Bliven said. "He will be approved to go shopping but only when it is less likely to run into minors. If a kid comes up and asks him a question, he must turn away."

Some in the audience felt Goodew was too close to schools and playgrounds.


"It’s not geographical proximity that makes children as vulnerable as social proximity of family, friends," Bliven said.

 Another sobering statistic about predators is that only 10 percent have been found out and they are under intense scrutiny. It’s the other 90 percent that pose the greater threat.

"You are integral to the process but don’t focus entirely on him. Keep your entire neighborhood safe. I never knew a police department that didn’t appreciate hearing from people," he added. "You have a very active and involved police force in this town." 

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