A Racine man, who walked away from an adult family home and has a mental illness, is in jail after he tried to lure a 12-year-old boy behind a dumpster on Wednesday.

Joseph Kessenich, 20, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office for disorderly conduct and two counts of bail jumping. He was also cited for loitering/prowling.  If convicted, Kessenich faces up to one year, nine months in prison and/or fines up to $21,000.

According to the criminal complaint,  Kessenich tried to lure a 12-year-old boy behind a dumpster near O’Reilly Auto Parts, 2118 Rapids Drive.

A woman told the police she was driving near the area when she saw Kassenich hiding behind a dumpster and yelling at a 12-year-old boy to “come here.” Sensing that Kessenich “was going to do something to the boy,” the woman asked the boy if he was OK. He told her he didn’t know and she told him to get into the car. The boy got into the car and she called the police. Kassenich dropped the black bicycle he was on, but continued to demand that the boy come over by him.

The boy told police he was scared because Kessenich ran into the Family Dollar store where he was later taken into police custody. While being taken into police custody, Kessenich told the arresting officer that he was trying to train his lawyer to be “be like Devil’s Advocate.” He referred to a movie, but when the officer asked Kessenich if his lawyer was the devil’s advocate, then who was he?

“I guess that makes me the devil,” Kessenich responded.

Kessenich’s name was mentioned in four other suspicious person complaints at Lockwood Park in 2014, according to the complaint.

He was out on bond from battery, disorderly conduct and possession of a controlled substance charges from August. During Kessenich’s initial appearance on Thursday, the judge ordered him to not have contact with minor children unless adult supervision is available, to take all medications prescribed to him and to reside at Brighter Day Adult Family Home, which is where he had been living since October.

A cash bond has been set for $3,000, Kessenich remains in custody in the Racine County.  A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 8 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebush.




Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.