Portage County town fights sex offender placement law

By Emma Henderson, WSAW News

ROSHOLT, Wis. (WSAW) - This community of Alban is outraged that a judge in another county allowed a sex offender to move into a house they say is too close to a place that holds community events.

The community center is recognized by Portage County judges who won't let sex offenders live close to that location. However, this offender is coming from Washington County, where that judge approved the move.

(D) Rep. Katrina Shankland has been spearheading efforts in the community to try and see if they can re-locate the sexual offender.

She realizes that might mean passing new state legislation.

Rep. Shankland plans on working with another state representative to draft legislation that would prohibit judges in other counties from ignoring the rulings from a county where they intend to place a sexually violent predator.

This means the judge would have to follow the rulings of local judges related to where they can and cannot place a sexually violent predator.

"No one was notified in this situation in reality until well after the fact and what's so offensive to them is they live in his town, they hold community events here, and now they have to worry about their children playing outside," says Shankland.

Residents say they were notified about a week ago, despite a judge approving a sexually violent person moving into their community on December 5th.

A sex offender is different than a sexually violent person.

According to Wisconsin state law, a person who is considered sexually violent. has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, found delinquent for that offense, may have a mental disorder, and is dangerous to others because the person's mental disorder increases the probability that he or she will engage in acts of sexual violence.

The Portage County District Attorney is currently petitioning the Chippewa County Court about another sexually violent predator that Chippewa is trying to place in the Town of Alban. That hearing will take place at the beginning of February.