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KARE 11 Investigates: Accused sexual predator arrested after KARE 11 report

Officials lost track of a severely mentally ill man charged in two sex assaults; he was arrested two hours after KARE 11 reported finding him on the streets.

A severely mentally ill man charged with two sex assaults will be held in jail after police arrested him late Thursday night – just hours after KARE 11 reported finding him walking the streets near a homeless shelter.

KARE 11 exposed how court and mental health officials lost track of Omar Isse, 30, despite a long record of criminal charges. He has repeatedly been found incompetent to stand trial and ordered committed to the Department of Human Services for mental health care. 

In a series of reports, KARE 11 has documented how DHS has released mentally ill patients like Isse back into the community before they are competent to stand trial. With little supervision once released, many have gone on to commit new crimes – including assaults and murders.

Isse’s history

Prosecutors charged Isse last year with raping an unconscious woman on a Minneapolis picnic table.

Credit: KARE 11
Omar Isse was charged with Criminal Sexual Assault but found incompetent to stand trial.

He was found too mentally ill at the time to stand trial in the case and was committed to the Department of Human Services. But DHS released him to a Fridley group home where he was charged with trying to rape a staff member in September.

An Anoka County judge released him the next day without requiring him to post bail. The judge also issued a no contact order barring him from the group home where, in theory, he was still civilly committed.

That judge’s order made him homeless – and he disappeared – failing to show up for numerous court dates.

Mark Gray, Isse’s long time civil attorney in his mental health commitment cases told KARE 11, “He’s a ticking time bomb.”

Finding Isse 

Isse was supposed to appear at a Hennepin County court hearing on Tuesday afternoon to determine if he was mentally stable to stand trial for the Minneapolis sex assault charge.

Credit: KARE 11
Attorney Mark Gray has represented Isse in mentl health commitment cases.

After DHS told the court his whereabouts were "unknown," the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

There was no evidence anyone in law enforcement was actively looking for him.

However, KARE 11 found him living at a South Minneapolis homeless shelter. At the same time as the Tuesday court hearing was underway, KARE 11 watched him walk into a Somali market that a judge had banned him from going into after a previous aggravated robbery charge.

Thursday night, KARE 11 reported about Isse’s case – and how court and mental health officials had lost track of the accused sexual predator.

Two hours after KARE 11’s report, police records show that they arrested Isse at the same homeless shelter. He was booked into the Hennepin County jail around midnight.

Isse refused to appear at a court hearing Friday afternoon. His next court hearing is set for next Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 26, where a judge will evaluate his mental health to determine his competency to stand trial on the pending sexual assault charges in Hennepin County.

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