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Board grants first exemption to sex-offender residency rules

11-15-2013 Wisconsin:

Man who applied to stay at address committed crime as a juvenile

When the City Council voted in April to restrict violent or child sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places children spend time, they added a provision allowing offenders wishing to live within a restricted zone to apply for an appeal.

On Thursday morning, the Sex Offender Residency Appeal Board — the committee created to consider such appeals — took action on its first request from an offender seeking an exemption, ruling that a Racine man could stay at an address that lies in one of the prohibited areas. Information was not available on how the location of his residence violated the ordinance.

Gathered in a conference room at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave., the board was charged with considering the application of Karl M. Lindquist, who committed his sex crime when he was a juvenile.

A few minutes after the start of the meeting, the board went into closed session where they reviewed information on the sex crime that led to Lindquist’s arrest, as well as information about his sex offender treatment, possible alcohol and drug use and arrests for other offenses.

Becausee Lindquist was a juvenile at the time the offense occurred, the board was not allowed to release information about it.

The board discussed the request in private, but Lindquist was able to make his case for an exemption prior to their deliberations.

Reconvening into open session, John Campion said that he and his two fellow board members “were comfortable” with allowing Lindquist an exemption, partly because the offense or offenses had occurred a long time ago and because records showed Lindquist had successfully completed his treatment.

“You were a child at that time (of the offense). You have grown a great deal,” Campion said. “There was a single victim. There has been no re-victimization.”

But Campion added that the board had serious concerns about three drunken driving convictions on Lindquist’s record, as well as a 2011 Kenosha County conviction for failing to notify the authorities of an address change.

“You cannot afford to make that mistake again and it very nearly cost you this opportunity,” he said.

Any time a registered sex offender moves they have to report their change of address to local authorities; that is a state rule that predates the city’s new sex offender residency rules.

Lindquist submitted his appeal late last week after being served an eviction notice, Racine Police Sgt. Jessie Metoyer said. He had moved from one address in the city to another and his landlord initiated the eviction process after learning he was a sex offender and would be in violation of the city’s residency ordinance if he remained at the address, Metoyer explained. She said the eviction judge wanted to see what the ruling of the appeal board was before acting on the eviction. ..Source.. by Cara Spoto

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