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CALEDONIA – On Thursday, a Racine County Circuit Court Judge issued a stay order that temporarily halts a planned placement of two registered sex offenders to a Caledonia neighborhood.
Judge Wynne Laufenberg issued the order after the Caledonia Village Board announced plans to sue the state over plans to place Daniel R. Williams and Hung N. Tran, both 51, under supervision at a rental property at 9901 Saratoga Drive. The residence is located near the Caddy Vista neighborhood within a few hundred feet of Jellystone Park and Resort, a privately-owned campground that includes a waterpark and family-oriented attractions.
A court hearing on the village’s legal action has not been scheduled.
“This does not end the legal process but allows the Village’s legal team time to present to the court our full opposition to these placements at this location,” according a statement issued by the Village. “The Village of Caledonia appreciates the public’s support as we pursue this challenging issue.”
Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, who joined Caledonia and Racine County officials in opposition to the planned placement of the men issued this statement: “This is great news for the hundreds of Caddy Vista neighborhood residents who contacted me and others about the damage this placement would cause to the neighborhood and surrounding area. I am glad the court is reconsidering the placement of these sex offenders, and am hopeful they will find a more appropriate location to house these two predators. Thank you to every single person who participated in getting this placement revisited.”
State law requires sex offenders, who have completed prison sentences and treatment, to be placed under supervision in the county where they were convicted. A committee, including Racine County staff, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, selected the Saratoga Drive site.
The placement plan for Williams and Tran, which took 18 months to develop, was approved by Judge Laufenberg. The judge has previously threatened to penalize Racine County for taking so long to find a placement location for the men.
Williams and Tran were each convicted, in separate cases, of sexual assault of children dating back to the 1980s. As Chapter 980 sex offenders, the two have been committed in state institutions for treatment.