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Level 3 sex offenders leave Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park

Two Level 3 sex offenders who moved to Cottage Grove and St. Paul Park earlier this year no longer live in the area.

Shannon Michael Benson, 34, who moved to Cottage Grove in late April, relocated July 28 to Minneapolis, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections and Minneapolis police.

Also, Jeffrey Lofgren, 56, an offender who moved to St. Paul Park in May, left for Minneapolis in June, police said. While Lofgren lives in Minneapolis, he still lists a secondary address at Ninth Avenue in St. Paul Park, police said.

The Level 3 designation is given to offenders considered the most likely to re-offend. Authorities are required to notify the public when a Level 3 offender moves to a community. However, there is no similar notification requirement of the city an offender moves from. The Department of Corrections website lists offenders’ current addresses.

Benson had four convictions for sexual conduct offenses against children elsewhere in Minnesota when he was a juvenile. His move to a Greene Avenue home in Cottage Grove prompted a community notification meeting that drew more than 150 people. Local police and state corrections officials explained Benson’s background and rights as an offender who had completed his prison sentence and was no longer in custody. Officials also discussed general personal and family safety information.

A similar notification meeting was held when Lofgren moved to St. Paul Park. He had prior sexual conduct convictions involving children in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He moved to St. Paul Park after completing a 15-year prison sentence in Wisconsin.

Benson and Lofgren were the first Level 3 offenders to register in Cottage Grove and St. Paul Park, police said. There are only two other Level 3 offenders currently registered in Washington County; they live in Oakdale.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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