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WI: Here’s why it’s time to reconsider sex offender residency restrictions

[ – 7/12/18]

Nicholas Fitzpatrick is now homeless.

After serving time for sexual assault — he pleaded guilty to having sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend when he was 17 — Fitzpatrick hoped to move into a home in Trevor.

However, that home is less than 1,000 feet from a tiny park known as Jason’s Pond, and that runs afoul of Salem Lakes’ sex offender residency rules.

So he appealed to the Village Board for an exemption. Several relatives and residents spoke on his behalf. Fitzpatrick told the board he earned college credits while incarcerated. Board Chairwoman Diane Tesar talked to his parole officer, who vouched for him.

“If I don’t get approved here today, on (July) 11th I’m homeless,” Fitzpatrick told the board on Monday. “This is my last shot.”

But the board balked, and now Fitzpatrick has no place to live.

What’s ironic is that the board on a earlier occasion granted an exemption for a man who was convicted of possessing child pornography. So to a majority of board members, it’s apparently better to have a child pornographer living near a park than a man who, as a teenager, had sex with his underage girlfriend.

This isn’t right, and it points to the larger problem brought on by sex offender residency restrictions.

In our zeal to protect ourselves from sex offenders, communities throughout the country have imposed all sorts of restrictions on where sex offenders can live. Often they are forbidden from living near churches, schools, parks and other places where children gather.

The result, in many instances, is there is no place in a community for a convicted sex offender to live once all the restrictions are applied.

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Join the discussion

  1. JoeHillsGhost

    It’s amazing to me that no one is questioning why a 17-year-old should be labeled a “sex offender” for having sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend. Or why that is considered “sexual assault.”

    That this young man should be relegated to homelessness now is utterly disgraceful.

    • The Unforgiven

      Shouldn’t she also be labeled a sex offender? We never hear what happens to these “deviant” females that also have underage sex. Are they not capable of being predatory, grooming their victims, and all the other labels that males get slapped with?

      • TS

        Females cannot think for themselves at that time of an age is how it’s seen, even when willing and able. Both minors should be labeled as such so the public realizes what they are doing to the minors of their state. Someone has to be held accountable and that’s the older person regardless!

        • norman

          Yet, for example (among many others), two 12 year old girls can be tried as adults for attempted murder (slenderman stabbing). Go figure

        • TS

          Excellent point Norman

        • The Unforgiven

          Yes, too young and innocent to make decisions about sex but now suddenly old enough to make decisions about murder. So if they had sex before the murder…then what are they? (Just being facetious)

  2. Joe123

    “Prof Luna said her research has shown that the pre-frontal cortex – the part of the brain controlling adult-like reason and planning – is active in adolescents, but it is trumped by the hormone dopamine which triggers feelings of happiness when taking risks.

    “I really want to dispel this idea that adolescents are unable to use their pre-frontal cortex for planning and reasoning. They really have the capability,” she said.

    “Sometimes adolescents act just like an adult so you get confused when they do stupid things. But they need that variability of experience and to be able to do things.

    “It’s not that they are not listening but what they do is determined by the increase in motivational processes in the brain that is meant to encourage them to venture outside of the nest.”

    Oh no! All of the bullshit the courts and prosecutors have been spewing about adolescents incapable of using their brains has all come crashing down. The Truth is so inconvenient isn’t it?

    • TS

      That’s an excellent point Joe123

    • Bill104

      first time commenting.
      The weird part about this is, everything they say in a court of law is considered viable, yet its widely known even a child as young 4 has the ability to lie to avoid punishment, or for that matter lie to get someone in trouble just cause they can, and mostly never get into any trouble for doing so even after its proven to be a lie. just my humble opinion.

      • Tim Moore

        Young children will say things just to keep an adult from being angry or to be helpful to the adult or to protect themselves from a perceived danger. Prosecutors rely on this.

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