Governor signs home-county sex offender bill

Print Article

  • Walker

  • 1

    Spreitzer

  • 2

    Zibolski

  • Walker

  • 1

    Spreitzer

  • 2

    Zibolski

MADISON - State lawmakers and local law enforcement officials in Rock County commended Gov. Scott Walker for signing a bill placing restrictions related to how certain sex offenders can be placed in homes across Wisconsin.

Walker signed Assembly Bill 539 into law Wednesday afternoon. It requires the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to place offenders who have been labeled "sexually-violent persons" but cleared for residential release in their home counties. Previously, offenders could be placed by DHS around the state at-will, backed by court orders. The new legislation requires counties to work with law enforcement and DHS in locating properties adequate in the offender's home county.

Two out-of-county offenders have been placed at 2219 Euclid Ave. in Beloit since November, with both placements drawing strong opposition.

Beloit Police Chief David Zibolski welcomed Wednesday's development.

"We appreciate the governor's expeditious response in signing this overdue legislation that begins to fix the loopholes in our sexual predator laws," Zibolski said. "This is a good example of local government entities working with their local legislators and the governor to positively benefit the entire state."

"I'm glad that the Governor signed AB 539, which will ensure sexually violent persons are placed in their home county, and not in Rock County," Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said.

Walker issued a partial veto, however, striking language in the bill that would have altered distance limits for the placement of sexually violent persons near any school, child care facility, public park, place of worship or youth center.

"With this veto, the process of placing sexually violent persons can be improved while not weakening current law protections that keep sexually violent persons at reasonable distances away from vulnerable populations," Walker said in a statement regarding the veto.

Both offenders placed in Beloit - Kenneth R. Cairns, 57, of Superior, and Steven M. Schuelke, 41, of La Crosse - benefited from lesser charges received in past cases and are not listed as serious child sex offenders, a far more restrictive label for the placement process.

A bill introduced last month by Spreitzer aims to close that legal blind spot. 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 in a deal with prosecutors, according to the new legislation.

Print Article

Read More News

Man faces jail time for crashing into court lawn

August 14, 2018 at 9:51 am | JANESVILLE - A Beloit man was sentenced to nine months in jail for crashing his vehicle on the Rock County Court lawn last November, according to court records. Everett K. Tipler, 49, was arrested ...

Comments

Read More

Complaint: Man charged after multiple pursuits

August 14, 2018 at 9:51 am | JANESVILLE - A Beloit man allegedly involved in multiple vehicle pursuits has been charged, according to a Rock County criminal complaint. Christopher N. Hall, 33, is charged with one count of atte...

Comments

Read More

Man faces attempted burglary, fleeing charges

August 14, 2018 at 9:51 am | JANESVILLE - A Janesville man faces attempted burglary and fleeing charges after a brief chase in Janesville Saturday morning. Kevin L. Alt, 45, faces charges of attempted burglary, stalking/domesti...

Comments

Read More

Rep. Pocan thinks Dems could take US House

August 14, 2018 at 9:51 am | BELOIT - U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, says he's confident Democrats could capture the House majority in November's midterm elections, but he stopped short of making any predictions about the part...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2018 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X