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UPDATE | Town of Trenton officials submit letter fighting proposed placement of violent offender

June 18, 2024 – Town of Trenton, Wi – Town of Trenton chairman Mike Lipscomb will submit a letter today to the Honorable Emily Lonergan Outagamie County Circuit Court. The 2-page letter echos a position taken by Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis that the proposed placement of violent sex offender Paul Schabow is definitely not a good fit for the small community of 4,400.

Trenton

Lipscomb stressed the proposed location “has at least two properties with vulnerable populations that fall squarely within the statutory 1,500-foot radius. First, Laurence Stockhausen Park is located approximately 1,195 feet from the Proposed Residence.2 The Park is owned and operated by the Town and includes four separate pieces of playground equipment. Ex. A. Second, an in-home daycare facility operated by Dawn Steinmetz sits a mere 376 feet from the Proposed Residence.”

The full letter is below.

T. of Trenton 6.14.24 Letter to Court-SIGNED

Click the arrow in the lower left corner to advance the page.

Below are previous articles detailing the background of this case.

This is a working story, and more information will be posted when details are available.

June 11, 2024 – Town of Trenton, WI – Potential 980 Release – Town of Trenton AUTHORITY: Sheriff Martin R. Schulteis

WEST BEND, WI – Last week the Washington Co. sheriff’s office investigators canvassed homes in response to a proposed order from Outagamie County Circuit Court regarding case 1996CI1. The sheriff’s office staff made door-to-door contact with 122 homes that are within a 1500’ radius from the proposed placement of a Chapter 980 offender at a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF) known as “A Passion for Caring, LLC” located at 6893 Eastwood Trail in the Town of Trenton.

In the court order, Circuit Court Judge Emily I. Lonergan found “good cause” to look outside of Outagamie County for placement of Paul E. Schabow who was committed on July 18, 1997, as a Sexually Violent Person under Wisconsin Chapter 980.

The details of that release are included in the letter the sheriff’s office received from the Department of Health Services on May 31, 2024. That letter is included as an attachment to this release and provides transparency as to why county leadership and Trenton officials are concerned with this proposed placement.

As a result of the canvass, our office believes there are disqualifiers in state statute that would prohibit the placement for the court to reconsider.

First, there is a town designated park within the restricted distance. Utilizing information from the Washington County Geographic Information Service (GIS), the entrance to a town park is approximately 1195’ from the proposed residence. The playground equipment is located approximately 1262’ from the proposed residence.

Secondly, there is a current in-home daycare facility that is seeking state licensing to increase the number of children under care within the radius. This licensing request was pending before the notification from DHS was sent to the county. This potential childcare facility is less than 500’ from the proposed placement. Although there is a daycare restriction within state statues for a 980 release, it should be noted the violations did not involve victims under the age of 18.

The sheriff’s office is working closely with the county attorney, the county executive’s office, and the Town of Trenton to ensure that these concerns are made known to the court of jurisdiction. Also attached to this release is Washington County’s Affidavit in Support of Motion to Intervene and Washington County’s answer to respondent’s argument for out of county placement.

Documents: Motion to Intervene – Letter to Sheriff – Answer to Argument of Placement

Below are previous stories about the possible placement of a violent sex offender in Washington Co.

June 8, 2024 – Town of Trenton, WI – The chairman in the Town of Trenton is speaking out about steps being taken to proactively protect the people in his community as Washington County officials have been notified about the possible placement of a violent sex offender.

Mike Lipscomb was notified by the Washington County Sheriff prior to the news being released that Outagamie County was looking to place a violent sex offender in a group home in the Town of Trenton.

Lipscomb, Sheriff Martin Schulteis and the county attorney jumped into action in an effort to halt the placement.

“Sheriff Schulteis and I got together and decided to get our attorneys involved and the county attorney is filing what they call an intervention with the courts up in Outagamie County,” said Lipscomb. “If he is granted that intervention the Town of Trenton will send a letter supporting that intervention.
“Currently I’m working with our lawyer and the homeowner’s association to create awareness and survey the neighborhood,” he said.
Wendy Wendorf

Sheriff Schulteis said he “received notification on June 3, 2024, in a letter dated May 31, 2024. That potential placement is a Community Based Residential Facility on Eastwood Trail in the Town of Trenton.

“Given the individual’s history and the potential risks associated with the release, I have profound concerns about both the ethical appropriateness and the legality of this proposed placement.”

Lipscomb said housing a violent sex offender brings in about $5,000 a month to the owner of the group home.

As far as the proposed placement, Lipscomb was unwavering. “People should be fearful. This is not a good fit,” he said.

 

Below is an example of what Outagamie County went through when a violent sex offender was to be placed in their community. This is not the person being placed in Washington County, WI.

Outagamie County went through a notification itself in 2019 regarding violent sex offender Henry Pocan. Click HERE to read about a 2020 court of appeals decision.

According to court records Pocan’s criminal history dates to 1976. He was convicted in 1981 of sexual assault of a senior citizen. Pocan was released in June 2019 and granted supervised release in 2002.

This is a working story, and more information will be posted when details are available.

Below is the initial story regarding the Washington County Sheriff notification of a violent sex offender possibly being placed in the Town of Trenton, WI.

June 5, 2024 – Town of Trenton, WI – Town of Trenton chairman Mike Lipscomb is working with attorneys following notification from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department that a violent sex offender may be placed in an area with children nearby in the Town of Trenton.
sex

Lipscomb wrote, “I was notified this week about this potential placement of this offender. I began working with Sheriff Schulteis this week to provide the neighborhood. There is a park and several children in the area. Trenton has instructed our attorney to work in conjunction with the county attorney to petition against such a placement. “

The initial release from the sheriff is below.

Early this week the sheriff’s office was notified by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services of a potential supervised release plan of a subject who was committed as a Sexually Violent Person under Wisconsin Chapter 980 by an Outagamie County Circuit Court judge in July of 1997.

The most recent Outagamie Court Order, filed on March 13, 2024, requires the Department of Health Services to notify the county in which the potential placement exists of the intention to pursue placement.

 

I received that notification on June 3, 2024, in a letter dated May 31, 2024. That potential placement is a Community Based Residential Facility on Eastwood Trail in the Town of Trenton.

Given the individual’s history and the potential risks associated with the release, I have profound concerns about both the ethical appropriateness and the legality of this proposed placement.

 

It is paramount to me that the Washington County sheriff’s office thoroughly assesses the potential impact on the safety and security of the surrounding community.

This committed violent sex offender has already demonstrated the inability to conform to previous supervised released plans. In addition, the subject of this order has never lived in Washington County nor has ever been convicted of a crime within Washington County.

Local communities already struggle with finding appropriate placements for these types of violent sex offenders that have domicile connections to our own local communities much less having to accept placements from outside of the area.

As one of our initial steps, sheriff’s office staff is actively in the process of canvassing over 120 homes within a 1500-foot radius of the proposed Community Based Residential Facility.

The purpose is to document any statutory disqualifiers and ethical considerations for the placement of this offender which will then be submitted to the court of jurisdiction in the placement.

Prioritizing the safety and well-being of the community while also ensuring compliance with legal requirements is paramount in navigating this challenging situation. Leadership from both Washington County and the Town of Trenton are actively exploring their legal options at this time to address this matter with the courts.

There is no proposed placement date currently set by the court.

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