Meeting set over offender placement

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BELOIT - After intense community opposition and a stalled legislative effort, Beloit will see its second out-of-county sex offender placement since November later this month.

The Beloit Police Department will host a community notification meeting on March 13 regarding the placement of 57-year-old Superior native Kenneth R. Cairns at 2219 Euclid Ave. in Beloit. The meeting will be held from 6-7 p.m. at the Beloit Historical Society, 845 Hackett St.

Cairns' placement drew fierce opposition from residents and the police department. Following a Feb. 21 ruling in Douglas County Circuit Court, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommended Cairns be placed in the Euclid Avenue home on March 23 with sex offender Steven M. Schuelke, 41, of La Crosse, who has lived there since November of 2017.

A legislative effort to restrict the scope of the placement of violent sex offenders stalled after a bill in the Wisconsin Assembly failed to match partner legislation in the Wisconsin Senate. A last minute amendment to the Senate bill wasn't added to the Assembly bill.

Legislators said the bill could be reintroduced in January 2019 or be revisited March 20, when the Senate returns for a floor session. Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, introduced an additional bill aimed at closing a legal loophole related to the state's definition of sexually-violent persons, something that could further restrict the state's placement process.

It would change the definition of serious child sex offenders to cover "all sexually violent crimes against children under the age of 16, including those considered by a court as part of sentencing when an offender pleads guilty to a lesser crime," according to a news release from Spreitzer's office.

The home on Euclid Avenue sits adjacent to a property where minors live, according to the neighbor of the home. The home shares an undivided driveway with the placement residence. Both Cairns and Schuelke are listed by the state as sexually-violent persons, and both benefited from plea-bargained lesser charges preventing them being listed as serious child sex offenders, a far more restrictive label along the placement process.

Cairns was convicted in November 1979 of two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct related to the assault of a 9-year-old and 10-year-old boy; convicted in July 1980 of two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes related to the assault of boys aged 9 and 12; convicted in July 1981 of second-degree sexual assault and enticing a child for immoral purposes of a 13-year-old boy; convicted in August 1984 of two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy; and convicted in September 1991 of second-degree sexual assault of a child and child enticement of a 13-year-old boy, according to Wisconsin Department of Corrections records.

Schuelke was convicted for crimes in 1993, 2003 and 2006 for forcing himself on multiple victims, including two under the age of 16, court records show.

For the first year of both Cairns and Schuelke's release plans stipulate they are restricted to the residence except for outings approved by DHS under the supervision of a Wisconsin Department of Corrections escort.

Other limitations beyond the first year restrictions include:

• Cooperate with the community reintegration team in implementing the Supervised Release Plan.

• No unapproved activities in the community without prior approval of DOC.

• No contact with minors or victims.

• No patronizing taverns, bars or liquor stores.

• Not to consume alcohol or drugs.

• Comply with lifetime GPS monitoring.

• Comply with random compliance checks.

The department urged neighbors to report any violations to Beloit Police Department by calling the non-emergency line 608-757-2244.

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