Stillwater Police: Convicted Sex Offender Offends Again

March 20, 2017 09:25 PM

A man convicted of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl was not sent to prison right away, as prosecutors had asked.

Nor was he told he had to stay away from minors.

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And now Stillwater police say he's had sexual contact with yet another child.

Just a year and a half after he was released from Washington County Jail, where he had served time for criminal sexual conduct, 46-year-old Timothy Dempze is back behind bars.

A criminal complaint filed this week alleges Dempze engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl.

"It's been a difficult week, it's difficult to see kids go through this," Stillwater Police Sergeant Jeff Stender said.

Dempze was convicted by a jury in September of 2014. But instead of Washington County Judge Ellen Maas following the sentencing guidelines of 12 years in prison, he received one year in the county jail.

"It's hard to look at that and say 'Oh I agree with that 100 percent, or I understand why this happened,'" Stender said.

"Does it make you mad? Personally it makes me mad."

Stender remembers prosecutors asking that Dempze be incarcerated immediately.

But that did not happen.

For three months he was allowed to remain in contact with minors. And police say that's when the second assault happened.

He's a convicted sex offender yet he's allowed to go back and have very close contact with minors? "I find it troubling," Stender responds.

"This is one of those cases where it seems like the likelihood of it coming back to haunt us could have been predicted," he adds.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to the judge in this case, Judge Ellen Maas, but she has not responded to phone or email messages asking for comment.

A court transcript has an explanation of why Dempze was not ordered to jail right away at the conclusion of the 2014 trial.

In it, Judge Maas tates:

"I have not done this very often where I have allowed one to be released on their promise to return, subject to conditions, when there is a presumptive commit...  but given that this has been hanging over Mr. Dempze's head for nine months, and he has remained compliant with all conditions, I am going to order that continued, to be allowed to be released on his promise of his return...."

Dempze is still in the Washington County Jail and will be back in court next month.


Jessica Miles

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