12 registered sex offenders to be placed in east St. Paul, residents concerned

One St. Paul neighborhood is up in arms because of some future residents.

Multiple level 3 sex offenders are set to move to the area, and that has many people concerned.

It’s a notice from St. Paul police that Kim Mathes dreads.

“It’s just unnerving, the whole thing, it’s just unnerving,” she said. “Level 3 is the worst offender, most likely to re-offend.”

Twelve level three sex offenders are on the move, and Mathes, a survivor of sexual assault, is among a growing number of residents who say that the newcomers are not welcome.

“It’s just an uncomfortable feeling for all of the neighbors,” she said.

According to police, three of the predatory offenders were recently released from jail. Of the 12, eight will reside right on the city’s east side. In addition to informing residents, area parks, rec centers, schools, churches and daycare facilities have also been alerted.

“Yeah, they do have to live somewhere, but they all don’t have to live on the east side,” Mathes said.

But the police department says that it has no control over where the men live.

“I can sympathize with their fears,” said Sergeant Mike Ernster with St. Paul Police. “We as a police department cannot refuse somebody a residency. All we can do [is] when they move in, they have to tell us where they are going to live and we have to notify the community.”

With more predatory offenders, Mathes is calling for more protection. She's one of many longtime residents also considering a move. 

“When you look back to when I was growing up, we were outside playing all the time. We didn’t have parents watching us, we didn’t have to. Now, you have to be so careful.”