Park proximity offers hope to reverse sex offenders placement on Camp Lake Road

Salem Lakes village administrator Michael Murdock introduces local officials at the meeting.

More than 150 people attended a meeting Wednesday evening at the Salem Lakes Fire Station No. 1/Highway Department Building to hear about the pending placement of two sex offenders at a Camp Lake Road address.

The meeting was organized by the Salem Lakes village government in answer to resident concerns.

Proposed to be placed under community supervised release are Brian Threlkeld and Dale Peshek, both convicted sex offenders designated as sexually violent persons on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. Both were convicted of sexual assault of a child.

An initial survey of the suitability of the residence at 27356 Camp Lake Road as a home was conducted by Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department detectives in February, Sheriff David Beth said. That process failed to uncover that the residence was within 1,500 feet of parks. That fact wasn’t uncovered until closer to the placement date when Salem Lakes village administrator Mike Murdoch reviewed the proposed placement and pointed out several parks within that 1,500 foot radius existed, which would disqualify the building from housing sex offenders under state and village law.

“We weren’t aware there were these microparks,” Beth said. “The average person wouldn’t look at them and say that’s a park. Our detectives didn’t know that these little lots are parks.”

Armed with the new information, detectives filed an additional report, Beth said.

“The Sheriff’s Department no longer feels this placement fits …” Beth said as he was drowned out by applause.

Beth and District Attorney Michael Gravely both had high praise for Murdock providing the key information about proximity.

“If there’s a hero here today, it’s Mike Murdock,” Gravely said.

The next step for the process will come at a hearing on Friday in Kenosha before Judge Anthony Milisauskas. He could decide to allow the placement or reverse it due to the new information.

While offering no guarantee, Gravely said to the audience in light of the new information about park proximity “from my perspective you have a reason to be optimistic.”

But, Gravely pointed out, because Threlkeld and Peshek were convicted in Kenosha County, they eventually will be placed somewhere in Kenosha County.

Representatives of the state Department of Health Services and Department of Corrections addressed their roles in rehabilitation and placement of sex offenders. Salem Lakes village President Diann Tesar and Trustees Dan Campion, Mike Culat and Bill Hopkins and county Supervisors Mark Nordigian and Sharon Pomaville were on stage. County Supervisor State Rep, Samantha Kerkman also addressed the meeting.

People in the audience were able to ask question or make statements. The meeting, held in the public works garage, started at 6 p.m. and was ended about 8:15 p.m.

Tesar said she thought the meeting went well. She agreed with the sentiment expressed by many at the meeting that the village should have been able to review the placement sooner.

“We didn’t know about this,” Tesar said.

Murdock said he felt the meeting was constructive.

“The people who had a lot of emotion on this had a chance to vent,” Murdock said.

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