By Brandi Makuski
A second violent sex offender is coming to the Town of Alban within the next 30 days.
Jason Staves, 42, was convicted on two counts of second-degree child sex assault in 1993. Four years later, he was committed to a supervised treatment facility in Mauston as a sexually violent person.
On Friday, a judge in Chippewa Co. green-lit Staves’ supervised release back into the community–albeit with extra conditions thanks to testimony offered by Portage Co. District Attorney Louis Molepske and Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland.
Friday’s hearing was a rescheduled court appearance following formal objections from Portage Co. Sheriff Mike Lukas, Shankland and Molepske after the community notification on Staves’ pending release went out in December.
“The judge ruled a little over an hour ago that Jason Staves will be transported to Portage County,” Molepske said by phone at about 5 PM Friday. “He will be living with the other offender across from the [Central Wisconsin Electric] Coop.”
Peter R. Yogerst, 41, was placed in a Dept. of Health Services house at 4068 St. Hwy. 49 near Rosholt in early January. Yogerst was convicted in 1994 on charges of second-degree sexual assault and intimidating a witness after he forced his way into a home and raped the woman living there. He was later committed to a treatment facility under the state’s Sexually Violent Persons Law.
Sometime in the next 30 days, Molepske said, Staves will join Yogerst in that home.
“The judge did require more restrictions: the Department of Health Services has to continually look for housing for Mr. Staves in Chippewa County. So even though he will be placed in Portage County initially, Chippewa County has to keep looking for suitable housing for him and once they find it, he has to be transported back there,” Molepske said. “So that’s a very positive thing.”
Molepske said another condition restricts Staves from ever stepping foot on the Central Wisconsin Electric Coop property across the street because it serves as Alban’s only community center. On a monthly basis, Molepske said, the DHS also has to contact someone from the Coop for a schedule of the town’s community events so they can “take appropriate precautions.”
“For things like the [Alban] annual town meeting, or their Halloween party, they could either physically remove [Staves] from the home, or have a minder or chaperone at the house for those events,” Molepske said.
Molepske said Chippewa Co. Judge Steven Cray said he felt badly about sending Staves to Portage Co., but after a two-year search for appropriate housing there, no other options were immediately available.
“[Cray] knew it was a burden on another county, and he wished he could have found a house there,” Molepske said.
Sheriff Lukas said he plans to organize another community notification meeting as soon as his office receives Cray’s ruling in writing.
“They’ve got to give us time to hold a hearing, so as soon as we get that notification, we’ll schedule a meeting and get the word out,” Lukas said Friday. “I’m very disappointed; we spent a lot of time on the investigation, looking into this and we wrote the judge; with new evidence being brought up regarding the community center at the Coop, I thought the judge the rule in our favor, but apparently not.”
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