Wheatland files appeal to sex offender placement

Wheatland has filed an appeal to a court order placing a sex offender in a Wheatland residence along Highway 50.

Wheatland prosecuting attorney Todd Terry filed the appeal on behalf of the town on Wednesday, he said. That appeal is focused on the Racine Circuit Court’s denial of a petition for Wheatland to intervene in the case.

Terry also moved that the Circuit Court stay the placement pending the outcome of the appeal, but that motion was denied Thursday by Racine County Circuit Court Judge Allan Torhorst.

Terry also has  filed a motion with the Court of Appeals asking to stay the placement until the Wheatland appeal can be heard. Terry said he did not know when the Court of Appeals will rule on that motion.

The case relates to the state’s placement of Michael McGee of Racine County in a Wheatland house in the 32200 block of Highway 50 starting May 20. McGee is part of the state Department of Health Services Supervised Release program for sex offenders. The state had not been able to find a residence for McGee in Racine County and was ordered by Judge Torhorst to look in Kenosha County. The state contacted the landlord of the Highway 50 home because they had used it for sex offenders before and found it was available. But local government and law enforcement officials mobilized to block the placement, in part because a one year old lives next door to the subject property.

After a hearing Tuesday in which Kenosha County officials argued against the placement, Judge Torhorst order the placement to move forward within 10 days. In his decision, Torhorst said he did not find merit in any of Kenosha County’s arguments presented Tuesday, including that the court was not previously made aware by the state of the presence of a 1-year-old child next door.


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