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Offender will remain in custody

The convicted molester will be detained for treatment until a jury decides he is not a threat.

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.

"We won, we won, we won," one mother said through tears. Her name is being withheld to protect the identity of her son.

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 Miami-Dade County boy who was 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."

Kinder's attorneys at the Public Defender's Office did not return calls to the Times.

Dickerhoof said Kinder's case will be reviewed each year.

The mother of his victim vowed to do whatever it takes to keep him from being released.

"I'll be there every year," she said. "I don't want him to ruin other lives."

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