Meeting August 27 to inform public

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office has released information on two Level 3 Predatory Offenders moving into West Otter Tail County. 

The planned relocation of a sex offender to the rural Erhard area, scheduled Sept. 4, comes shortly after another offender moved into Pelican Rapids in mid August. 

Both will be the subject of a community notification meeting August 27, 6 p.m. at Lake Region Electric Cooperative. Details of the meeting will appear in the Sept. 5 edition of the Pelican Rapids Press.

Gregory Michael Keppers, age 28, is moving into the rural Erhard area, in the vacinity of Highway 59 and 340th Street on Sept. 4.  

Previously, Andrew Lee Kruft, 31, moved into the rural Pelican Rapids area, (N. Broadway in Pelican Township), on August 17.

The relocation of two  Level 3 offenders in the Pelican area comes on the heels of the abduction of a Fergus Falls area woman by Anthony Randklev in late July.  Randklev re-offended less than a year after relocating–and only a month after being released from intensive supervision by corrections authorities. 

Representatives from the Department of Corrections and the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office will be available to provide  useful information on public safety at the August 27 meeting. 

Keppers has a history of sexual conduct and contact with adolescent female victims (age 15-17). Conduct included asking for sexual contact. Contact included sexual touching and penetration. Force was used to gain compliance in at least one offense. Offender was known to victims.

Kruft’s story is similar,  with a history of sexual contact with minor female victims (age 11-14). 

Contact included sexual touching and penetration. Offender was known to victims.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office is releasing this information pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 244.052. This statute authorizes law enforcement agencies to inform the public of a sexual or predatory offender’s release from prison or a secure treatment facility when the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s believes that the release of information will enhance public safety and protection.

The individuals have both been convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct or another offense that requires registration with law enforcement pursuant to Minnesota Statues 243.166 or 243.167.

Neither Keppers nor Kruft are wanted by the police at this time and have served the sentence imposed on him/her by the court. This notification is not intended to increase fear in the community. Law enforcement believes that an informed public is a safer public.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s may not direct where the offenders do or do not reside, nor direct where he/she works or goes to school. The risk level of these offenders has been determined largely on his/her potential to re-offend based on his/her previous behavior.

Convicted sexual and predatory offenders have always been released to live in our communities. It was not until the passage of the Registration Act that law enforcement had an ability to track movement of these offenders after their initial release. With the passage of the Community Notification Act law enforcement may now share information about many of these offenders with the public. 

Abuse of this information to threaten, harass or intimidate a registered offender is unacceptable and such acts could be charged as a crime, notes the Otter Tail Sheriff’s Department. 

 Such abuses could potentially end the ability of law enforcement to provide these notifications. If community notification ends the only person who wins is the offender. Many of these offenders derive their power from the opportunity that secrecy provides.