Michael Daniel Arnold

HIBBING— Authorities announced this week that a level 3 sex offender will be returning to the community on Tuesday.

Michael Daniel Arnold, 36, was convicted in 2011 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Virginia and of felony harassment in Duluth, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

In an email, Hibbing Police Chief Steve Estey stated that Arnold is set to move into the vicinity of Seventh Avenue and 16th Street East near Bennett Park in Hibbing. “The Hibbing Police Department may not direct where the offender does or does not reside, nor can this agency direct where the offender works or goes to school,” Estey wrote. “The risk level of this offender has been determined largely on his potential to re-offend based on his previous behavior.”

Estey added, “This offender is not wanted by the police at this time and has served the sentence imposed on him by the court. This notification is not intended to increase fear in the community. Law enforcement believes that an informed public is a safer public.

Back in April 2019, the Hibbing Police Department announced a community notification meaning to update citizens on the criminal history of Arnold, who was scheduled to move into town at the time. “Arnold engaged in sexual conduct with an adult female victim,” the HPD wrote in a press release. “Arnold used physical force to gain compliance. Arnold met victim in a public place. Arnold has a history of engaging in peeping and stalking behaviors against adult female victims.”

About nine years ago, Arnold was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting an Iron Range woman in the area between Tower and Ely, according to court reports, as published in the Hibbing Daily Tribune and the Duluth News Tribune.

Arnold was a 27-year-old male from Duluth living at Bill’s House — the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency run homeless shelter in Virginia — when he drove a 21-year-old woman from a bar to a rural farmstead and dragged her into a field. He brutally beat her and raped her and threatened her life, before dropping her off in the early morning two blocks from the Virginia Regional Medical Center.

Arnold pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The survivor faced her rapist and gave a statement in the St. Louis County District Court in Virginia. Arnold apologized to her in court. Former Sixth District Court Judge James Florey, who is now a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, sentenced Arnold to serve 10 years and 10 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

Arnold would also be sentenced to serve 27 months in prison for a separate charge of felony harassment or stalking in which he followed women in the area of the University of Minnesota Duluth.

At the time, it was revealed that Arnold was actually free on $30,000 bail in the harassment case when he raped the local woman.

All sex offenders required to register with authorities are assigned a level 1, 2, or 3 when they leave prison, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Arnold’s classification as a level 3 offender means that he has been considered the highest risk to reoffend.

This week, Arnold will become the fourth level 3 sex offender in Hibbing who is required to register under state law and subject to such public notification, according to the public registrant search results on the state’s Department of Correction’s website.

HPD officers may be reached at 218-263-3601. To report criminal activity by this offender or any other individual contact 911.

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