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Washington Co. Sheriff statement regarding registered sex offender in Town of Erin

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Dec. 24, 2016 – Town of Erin, WI – On 12-21-2016, talk radio host Mark Belling broadcast a segment on the case of convicted sex offender Terry Olson.  Unfortunately, information important for area residents to know was omitted, or presented inaccurately.  This press release will attempt to correct that.

I believe residents near the proposed placement property, Town Board members, and school officials have a good understanding of the situation.

I believe this because on Monday night, the Town Liaison Deputy and I briefed the Town Board and met with seven concerned citizens to discuss the situation.  I found them all to be intelligent people concerned about the safety of their neighborhood.  In a rational manner we discussed the offender, and the process that is underway for his supervised release to the community.  We also discussed the Sheriff’s Office report on the property and neighborhood which was sent to the WI Dept. of Health Services Monday morning.  In that report I strongly oppose the placement of the offender at the residence.

The radio segment also presented information in a way that a listener could assume placement of the offender at that residence is a final decision and will happen immediately.  That is not the case.  If the Dept. of Health Services believes they can develop a credible plan for the offender at this address, they have to present the plan to Judge Gonring.  To my knowledge they have not recommended this property as the one for placement at this time.  Judge Gonring will make the final order about placement.

It should be noted, Judge Gonring already ordered placement at a residence in Fond du lac County.  He then suspended that decision to ensure due diligence was done in looking for a residence in Washington County.   I doubt this particular residence will be appropriate.  If no appropriate release plan, that includes a residence in Washington County, can be found, he may reinstate his original order.  I could be wrong, but this doesn’t appear to be an impending release.

Additionally, when I withhold protected HIPPA information, it’s to protect the taxpayers from losing a law suit and having to pay a sex offender a court ordered award with taxpayer money.  In my conversations with residents, it was quite obvious they knew the residence, the offender name and his past history.  Those active citizens can spread the information at will, without risk of a law suit.  At this point however it’s moot.

For more information, please follow the links to two documents I released, on 12-20-16, regarding this.  The original recipients were:

Residents who attended the Town Board meeting on Monday.
Erin Town Clerk, for dissemination to the Board
Erin School District Superintendent Kriewalt
State Representative Bandtjen
County Supervisor McCune

Town of Erin Residents
As you may know, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was requested by the WI Dept. of Health Services to provide a report with information relating to a prospective residential option for placement of a “serious child sex offender,” by the Dept. of Health Services under WI Statute 980.08. The statute does not permit me to disclose the address or name of the person considered for placement.
The Sheriff’s Office completed the report and forwarded to the Dept. of Health Services on 12/19/2016. A redacted copy is attached.
The potential release of this offender under statute 980 “Sexually Violent Persons Commitment” is not the same as the more common release of offenders who have served their prison sentence.
The offender in question has been held in custody by the state past his prison sentence under provisions in the statute. His release requires a more formal process of evaluation by court-appointed examiners, and review by a judge. If in the opinion of the judge, certain criteria are met the judge can order “supervised release” or “discharge.”
In this case, the petition by the offender was for “supervised release” and the judge has granted it. That actually occurred in June of 2015. The offender has not yet been released because there are more requirements.
The Dept. of Health Services must prepare a report that includes numerous items, including where the offender will live and the supervision required. Without getting into great detail, the judge has reviewed such a plan and ordered placement at a residence in Fond du lac County. He has since suspended that order pending further investigation of residences in Washington County, which is the original residence of the offender.
This case is still in the investigation stage prior to the Dept. of Health Services issuing a report to the judge. It is my understanding that the department is still searching for/reviewing possible places of residence for the offender
in Washington County. If none is found, the judge may move forward with his original decision.
If a new acceptable release plan with a residence in Washington County is presented to the judge and he orders that placement, the Sheriff’s Office will receive a Special Bulletin Notification on the offender, and a determination on public notification will be made at that time.
This is the best information I can give you in a concise format at this time.
Our Office will certainly stay engaged on this issue.

Below are two links that may provide more information for you.

Please know that when a serious sex offender is released and establishes a residence in the Townships, I am willing to commit an appropriate level of resources to keep residents as safe as possible.
Sincerely
Dale K. Schmidt, Sheriff of Washington County

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