Second Sexually Violent Person being placed in Portage Co. home

By Heather Sahr, WSAW News

A second Sexually Violent Person (SVP) is being placed in a Portage County residence, after a ruling by a different county's judge.

On Friday, Chippewa County Judge Steven R. Cray ordered Jason Staves to be released to a residence in the Town of Alban in Portage County.

SVP Peter Yogerst is currently housed at the same residence following a court ruling in Washington County. This is according to a release by Rep. Katrina Shankland.

The residence in question is located directly across the street from the Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, which has a community room that is frequently used for community functions and family gatherings.

Portage County Judge Thomas T. Flugaur had previously denied the supervised release of another SVP to the residence, ruling that it did not meet the safety needs of the community.

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Portage County District Attorney Louis Molepske, Jr. testified before the Chippewa County Court, Friday, to request that the judge deny the placement of Mr. Staves to the Town of Alban and order the state to search for a more suitable residence.

At the request of Rep. Shankland and District Attorney Molepske, Judge Cray ordered the following conditions on Mr. Staves’ release: 1) the state must continue to try to find housing for Mr. Staves in Chippewa County, 2) Mr. Staves will be required to have a chaperone during any CWEC functions, and 3) a geo-fence will be added to ensure that Mr. Staves does not step on CWEC property.

“I was glad to have the opportunity to advocate for the people of Portage County by testifying in court today,” said Rep. Shankland. “Judge Cray’s ruling today was disappointing, but I am pleased that we were able to get new conditions set for the placement, and I hold out hope that the state will succeed in finding a residence for Jason Staves in Chippewa County. In the meantime, I will continue to work on legislation to address the shortcomings in Wisconsin law relating to SVP placement.”

“While I’m disappointed with the placement of this offender outside of Chippewa County, I’m happy that the judge specifically listened to my and Rep. Shankland’s testimony requesting additional placement requirements,” said District Attorney Molepske. “I will continue to work with Rep. Shankland and other legislators to amend the law so that this process does not happen again.”

Excerpts from this article are included in a press release from the Office of Rep. Katrina Shankland.