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Kenneth Barke, who is required by the state to register on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry, moved into the residence in the beginning of the month. He notified the state of the address change on March 5. Detective Melissa Stardy said she searches the state database because the state doesn’t tell police departments when unsupervised sex offenders move into the community.
Barke was convicted of first-degree sexual of a child in 1992 in Milwaukee County.
Stardy searched the database on March 25 and found that Barke had moved into Caledonia into a rental home near Cliffside Park and close to where a number of children live. She told Barke that he violated the village’s original domicile rule and he couldn’t live in Caledonia because his offense wasn’t in Racine County, Stardy said.
“Because his offense was in Milwaukee County, he can’t come back here to live,” Stardy said.
Sometimes if certain family members had lived in Caledonia at the time of Barke’s conviction, it would have prompted an exemption. However those exemptions don’t apply.
Barke was also required to contact the Caledonia Police Department or Village Hall before moving into the home, which he didn’t do.
“He doesn’t qualify for exceptions under the original domicile rule and he was supposed to give advance notice of 28 days before moving into the residence,” Stardy said.
The issue of the state not notifying police departments when sex offenders have changed addresses puts more pressure on local police departments to be vigilant of checking the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry website, Stardy said.
“It’s the person’s (the sex offender’s) responsibility to make sure they report the change to the police department,” Stardy said “These aren’t people under supervision, but sometimes — especially with communities that have prisons — they are moving in and out of jail all the time. So it’s important for someone on the police department to check it and a lot of departments don’t. But we do.”
Stardy notified Barke in person on March 27 that he could no longer live in the home and he has 10 days to leave. But as of 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, Barke changed his address to a residence Lyndon Station, which is in Juneau County.
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