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DOC: Released Inmate Likely To Offend Again

February 21, 2012, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

DOC: Released Inmate Likely To Offend Again
Ed Morris

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Authorities are warning the public about a convicted rapist who was released from prison on Tuesday who they fear will reoffend. 

Ed Morris has a history of sex crimes against children and people with developmental disabilities.  Tuesday was the final day of his ten-year sentence for raping a woman in Spink County and he's indicated he plans to live in Sioux Falls.

"Certainly, it's a concern.  It's not something that gets put out everyday," Sioux Falls Chief of Police Doug Barthel said. 

Barthel says Morris has been on their radar for several weeks and officers will keep track of him, just like the other 500 registered sex offenders in the county. 

"Are we going to have an officer sit and watch him and follow him around?  Probably not, but certainly something for our officers to be aware of and the public to be aware of that as well," Barthel said.

The state says Morris has a criminal history of preying on vulnerable people, including children and the developmentally disabled, with little or no grooming.

In 2000, Morris was charged with raping a woman in Redfield. He was a ward of the state, under the custody of the Department of Social Services. But he had been temporarily released, so he could work.

Three years prior to that crime, he was accused of sexual contact with a child, but was declared incompetent to stand trial.

The sex offender registry still has Morris listed as incarcerated, but authorities want you to know that's no longer the case. 

"We can't assure the public he absolutely won't reoffend and frankly, that's why this is put out. So the public can also be aware of that," Barthel said. 

Morris has three days to reregister as a sex offender. He's told police he plans to stay at the Union Gospel Mission.  Like all registered sex offenders, he needs to check in with police twice a year, plus an officer will visit him once a year.

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