November 11, 2015

Offender residency rejected

Follow the story, is there anyway someone can tell if a specific residence is prohibited, before renting or living there? Nothing is marked and even folks owning residences do not know if there residence is in a prohibited distance. This is insanity; political entrapment!
11-11-15 Wisconsin:

JEFFERSON — A 25-year-old registered sex offender has been denied his appeal to remain residing in the City of Jefferson.

The decision was made Tuesday evening during the Jefferson Sex Offender Residence Appeal Board meeting at the Jefferson Police Department.

In September 2005, Ronald L. Dukelow was adjudicated as a delinquent of first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 in Dodge County, court records show. As a result of that offense, he is required to comply with the state sex offender registry through Oct. 3, 2021.

For the past year, Dukelow has been living with his mother, grandparents and brother at 402 N. Center Ave. in Jefferson. Previously, he had resided in Fort Atkinson. The address change was recorded with the Jefferson County Clerk of Court’s office on May 27, 2015.

In September, Jefferson Police Department Detective Eric Weiss was notified that Duke­low was living at the new address, which raised concerns because in 2012, the city passed an ordinance that restricts registered sex offenders from residing within 1,500 feet of a designated child safety zone.

Two parochial schools and the city pool are within the 1,500-foot designated safety zone.

The City of Jefferson’s Sex Offender Residence Appeal Board was created in conjuction with the ordinance and offers registered sex offenders the opportunity to undergo an appeal process and see whether the board will grant them the chance to remain living at that location.

Weiss noted that in the past, some have been granted waivers, while others, like Dukelow, have been denied them. Through Tuesday’s appeal process, Dukelow was given the opportunity to plead his case and show why he is either rehabilitated, won’t reoffend or won’t be a perpetrator toward children.

In his alloted time, Dukelow said that were he allowed to remain living at the Center Avenue address, he “would stay in his house more and not be around their kids, and avoid the pool and school as much as possible.”

Dukelow’s mother, who also was in attendance Tuesday, added that she was unaware there even was an ordinance restricting registered sex offender residency until an officer showed up at their house.

The board also permitted citizen input from neighbors — many of who gave emotional testimony as to why they believe Dukelow is a danger to their neighborhood.

Dave Thompson, 214 E. Wilcox St., questioned why Dukelow was able to live at the residence for the past year. Weiss explained that the department was unaware Du­kelow was residing there until recently and immediately took action upon notification.

The detective added that when sex offenders register their addresses within the system, it is their responsibility to adhere to any ordinance enacted by the municipality they reside. Because each community has different ordinances regarding sex offenders, the registry cannot always be aware when an offender is living in a residence illegally.

Speaking next, Denise Sponem, 502 N. Center Ave., explained the close proximity of the pool and two schools to her and Dukelow’s address.

“Kids are walking by there all summer long,” Sponem said. “Not only do we have the kids from our neighborhood, but we have other children who walk through our neighborhood going to those schools on a regular basis.”

Sponem also mentioned Dukelow’s pending court case. He is charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 years old. He allegedly touched a 7-year-old girl in a sexual manner while she was playing a videogame.

“This is wrong, totally wrong; he should not be there,” Sponem said.

Originally charged in September 2014, Dukelow’s competency initially was raised at a hearing in October 2014 before Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Weston.

During a hearing in November 2014, a report by an examiner appointed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services concluded that Dukelow was not competent, although he might become so with treatment.

Judge Weston suspended the case and committed Dukelow to the Department of Health Services for a term not to exceed 12 months, with regular reports on his mental state to be provided to the court at three, six and nine months.

By February 2015, a second competency evaluation was requested by Dukelow’s attorney. Upon the second analysis, he was found to be competent during a hearing in April 2015 and the case advanced.

However, the preliminary hearing in the case was adjourned in May when the investigating officer was not available. Subsequently, in June 2015, Dukelow’s attorney, Elizabeth Svehlek of the State Public Defender’s Office, again presented concerns about competency and requested an evaluation. Dukelow was found to be not competent and a new commitment order was endorsed by Judge Randy Koschnick in August 2015.

Last Thursday, Judge Kosch­nick found Dukelow to be competent based on his latest re-examination.

A pretrial conference was set for Wednesday, Nov. 18, and a preliminary hearing tentatively is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Dukelow faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison if convicted. He remains free on a $50,000 signature bond.

As conditions of his bond, Dukelow is to limit his travels to Jefferson County or any adjoining county, including Columbia, Rock, Dane, Dodge, Waukesha and Walworth. He is not permitted to travel beyond those borders.

In addition, he is not to have contact with his alleged victim or her family members and is not to be alone with or have any physical contact with any person he knows to be a minor.

Also speaking Tuesday was Chris Melinger, 402 N. Main St., who voiced concern for his 5-year-old daughter and the young children of his neighbors.

“This whole neighborhood is full of little girls,” he said. “This man should not be on the street right now. I don’t know how he is not being held without bail until this is resolved.”

Melinger added that “(Du­kelow) is putting the children in the neighborhood in danger, also himself in danger, and probably the people in the community, because if he touched my child, I don’t know what I would do ... I would protect my child whatever that takes.”

Nicole Lippert, 316 N. Main St., asked the appeals board to consider her 13-year-old child, who has to walk by Dukelow’s residence every day to get to school.

“We live in a small community and you wouldn’t think you have to worry about your kids like this, but I am telling you from experience of someone who was molested as a child, I will do absolutely whatever it takes — right, wrong or different — to make sure that no one will ever touch or harm my child.”

Lippert, like many in attendance Tuesday, questioned why the neighbors were not made aware of Dukelow residing at the address, as she would not have allowed her child to walk pass the house had she known.

Weiss explained that because Dukelow was a minor when convicted, his court records are sealed. Because the court records are not available to the public, he will not show up as a registered sex offender on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry, which is made available to the public online.

Rebecca Sande, 321 N. Sanborn Ave., voiced concern for her six children who range in age from one to 16.

“I don’t want my kids to feel like they are living in an unsafe neighborhood, but I can tell you there is kind of a spirit of fear,” Sande said. “I don’t like that my children have to be exposed to that.”

Sande also mentioned her concern for the city’s high ratio of sex offenders. Currently, Sande said, there are 30 registered sex offenders living among the city’s 8,000 residents.

Fighting back tears, Nicole Thompson, 214 E. Wilcox St., explained that she does not feel safe letting her children in her own backyard, which backs up to Dukelow’s.

“This is an area where people go to school, it’s an area where they go to the pool, where they go ice skating, where they use the sledding hill,” she said. “He has a right to live somewhere; he does not have a right to live near our children. It is a hotspot for children. You might as well put him in the middle of a playground and say, ‘Here let him babysit.’”

Thompson questioned why the city even is holding a meeting when there already is an ordinance stating that Dukelow cannot live at the residence in question.

“We enforce opposite-side parking ordinances; we don’t have meetings about them. It’s an ordinance; let’s enforce it,” Thompson said.

Board Chair Jim Horn explained that as part of the ordinance, they are required to allow an appeal process for anyone who would like to plead his or her case to the city.

Also in attendance was Sue Loof, principal of St. John the Baptist Catholic School, one of the two schools within the safety zone surrounding Dukelow’s address.

“My job is to keep our kids safe, so, too, I plead with you to help him find a place to live outside of the safety zone,” Loof said.

After a closed-session discussion, the Sex Offender Residence Appeal Board unanimously denied Dukelow’s request.

Dukelow now is required to vacate the residence “as soon as reasonably possible,” Weiss said.

The detective added that Dukelow will be allowed to visit the residence, but he cannot live there. Regular checks will be made at the address in order to enforce the ordinance. A fine of $1,000 a day is in place for anyone who violates it.

Many neighbors in attendance Tuesday still questioned the enforcibility of the ordinance if Dukelow still is allowed to visit the residence, but Weiss assured them that the Jefferson Police Department, so far, has never had a situation where someone remained after being denied residency.

He added as an extra safety measure, “if you see him outside the house, you call us.”

As a past offender, Dukelow is to maintain compliance with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry.

As conditions of his bond, he is required to continue living with his mother as long as she lives within the counties to which he is limited.

It was not clear how the board’s decision would affect this condition. ..Source.. by Amy Wunderlin

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