26-year-old is cleared for unconditional release from MSOP
A Minnesota court has ordered the first-ever full and unconditional discharge from Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program, choosing a young man who has spent the past six years in state confinement solely for sexual acts he committed as a child.
Eric Terhaar, 26, was committed indefinitely to state custody in 2009, even though he never has been convicted of a sexual offense as an adult and was confined in part because of acts he committed as young as age 10, and which could have been influenced by his own sexual victimization, court records show.
On Wednesday, a Supreme Court appeals panel ruled that Terhaar no longer required inpatient treatment and supervision for a sexual disorder — and he no longer is a danger to the public — and that his continued confinement is unconstitutional. The panel held that his need for further therapy stemmed from his troubled past of being sexually abused as a child and his years of institutionalization and that those needs could be met in the community, rather than in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP).