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Sex offender will remain in custody

By AMY HERDY

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 19, 2000


TAMPA -- Jurors who heard convicted sex offender Kevin Kinder proclaim that he is no longer the sick, twisted man who sexually assaulted four boys in 1992 decided Friday that he should remain incarcerated anyway.

The verdict took the panel of four women and two men just over an hour to reach.

Kinder pleaded guilty in 1992 to performing lewd acts on four young boys and was sentenced to 17 years in prison and 15 years of probation. He was released in September after six years in prison under a program to ease prison overcrowding.

This week, Kinder became the focus of a civil proceeding required under the Jimmy Ryce Act, named for a 9-year-old kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1995. Under the law, a convicted sex offender can be detained indefinitely for treatment if he is deemed to be a sexually violent predator likely to strike again.

Assistant State Attorney Thomas Dickerhoof said for someone like Kinder, detention is needed to protect the public.

"He's been on probation before, and he did these crimes while he was on probation," Dickerhoof said. "Probation is not enough to control him."

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