Parents, neighbors raise concerns about violent sex offenders' move

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Action 2 News reported earlier this month, two registered sex offenders were moved into a Green Bay home.

People raised concerns during a community meeting Tuesday night regarding those sex offenders being released into their neighborhood.

Forty-three-year-old Howard Carter and 56-year-old Andrew Ashton were each convicted of sexual assault on numerous occasions. Court records show both men have fulfilled their time at a treatment center for sexually violent people, they moved into 927 Liberty Street in Green Bay less than two weeks ago.

Carter and Ashton are each considered "sexually violent" by the state. According to the Department of Corrections, a sexually violent person has previously been convicted of certain sexually violent offenses. The DOC says the offenders also diagnosed with a mental disorder, which affects the person to involve themselves in acts of sexual violence, they're also deemed more likely than not to commit a sexual offense.

A panel consisting of officials from the DOC, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Green Bay Police Department gave a presentation to educate the community, and ease some concerns.

Officials say both sex offenders are under supervised release. For the first year, Ashton and Carter are not allowed to leave the home unless they're accompanied by their parole officer. The men are also wearing GPS monitored bracelets, and will receive random home checks by their PO.

Neighbors say they're upset they were not told in a timely manner, some finding out the day the men moved in.

The house on Liberty Street is at least 1,500 feet away from places where kids gather, like parks, schools and day cares, making it okay for the state to place the sex offenders there without the city's permission.

A Brown County committee placed the men on Liberty Street because it met statutory criteria for supervised release offenders. The DHS says only three out of 152 registered sex offenders placed in the history of the program have re-offended.

The home is a half a mile away from Beaumont Elementary School, and parent representatives say a number of students live close to that home.

"It's just very confusing,” said Sarah LeClair, president of the Beaumont Parent-Teacher Network. “You know, they laid out the different offenses and what not, and they also stated the rare likelihood of repeat offenders and strangers, but still it's just very concerning as a parent and a community member with it being so close."

District Alderman Brian Johnson says even though there’s little the city can do, he plans on looking into ways to help the people of Green Bay feel safer.

"I think we do need to talk about a mandatory notification requirement. For individuals to not receive notification when we do have that ability perhaps to give them a two-week notification, I think is an important piece to look at,” said Johnson. “The other component that I'm really concerned about is we have a county committee as prescribed by state statute that has no representation from the city of Green Bay or from elected officials, and I think we need to change that."

Often times these homes are leased at a premium rate. During the meeting DHS disclosed the home is being rented out for $3,000 a month.

The DOC and law enforcement encourages parents to communicate with their children about the situation.



 
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