State assembly passes bill on violent sex offenders

By Courtney Terlecki, Multimedia Journalist

MADISON (WAOW) - After continued controversy over violent sex offenders released into rural central Wisconsin, a bill moves through the assembly to stop that from happening.

Right now, a judge decides where a sexually violent person is placed when they are released. There are two sexually violent people placed in the town of Alban who are not from Portage County but other parts of the state.

A sexually violent person is different than a sex offender because they have to meet a specific criteria that includes being violent and having a mental disability. They often spend years in treatment facilities before they're released, if ever.

Several area representatives have been advocating for change in the state capitol. State Senator Patrick Testin worked on the bill that passed through the assembly today.

"When they're released they have to go to their county of origin, so this removes the ability for a judge to place these individuals outside of their county," said Testin.

State Representative Katrina Shankland has also worked on legislation. She said she's requesting to meet with the governor to talk about how urgent the issue is to rural central Wisconsin.

The bill still needs to go through a committee and the state senate.