Placement of sex offenders at Camp Lake Road house stayed; one case to face another hearing Tuesday

The placement of two sex offenders in a house on Camp Lake Road in Salem Lakes was stayed by two Kenosha County Circuit Court judges Friday morning.

However, one of the placements will have another hearing Tuesday that could change that status.

At issue was the community placement under supervised release of 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. The proposed placement residence is 27356 Camp Lake Road.

Judge Anthony Milisauskas ruled on Threlkeld’s case. He ordered a stay of the previous court order making the placement due to the original ruling being based on inaccurate information about the house’s proximity to a park.

“The court has the power to go back and make the right decision,” Milisauskas said. “Anything I (previously) ordered is illegal under the statute.”

An initial survey of the suitability of the residence at 27356┬áCamp Lake Road as a home for the sex offenders was conducted by Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department detectives in February. 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.

“The county has to go back to square one and prepare another report as to a residence in the future,” Milisauskas said. “I believe you get another 120 days to do that.”

Milisauskas’ order to stay Threlkeld’s placement was greeted by applause from the about 15 members of the public in the audience.

Peshek’s case was heard by Judge Mary Kay Wagner, who ultimately stayed the placement for now, but scheduled a hearing on June 1 to clarify how the measurement to the park was made and how it fits the state statute.

Wagner said Kenosha County corporation counsel Joseph Cardamone III, in explaining the status of the case, spoke tenuously about whether the residence was located too close to a park.

“You said you believe it no longer fits the criteria,” Wagner said to Cardamone. “Does it or doesn’t it? Is there a park or isn’t there a park? What is it?”

Cardamone explained that deputies initially measured to a different part of the park, apparently not realizing the full size of the park.

“There’s some potential ambiguity in the law regarding what a park is … as well as whether or not the 1,500 feet is as the crow flies or needs to be measured in some other fashion,” Cardamone said.

Peshek’s attorney Robert Peterson criticized the new information about the park proximity as not the result of a filing of a motion, but “actions by the politicians and the community, including the Sheriff’s Department, sending letters to the court … “

Peterson went on to detail how to access the park within about 1,300 feet a person would have to travel across a couple of bodies of water and cross private property to reach the boat ramp portion of the park, which he contended did not constitute the park proper.

“This is nothing but a political attempt to block a legal placement,” Peterson said.

Nathaniel Adamson of the state Department of Justice said if a decision could not be made Friday as to the appropriateness of the park information than a hearing on the measurement was appropriate “so that way it could be litigated more thoroughly than what has happened here.” Adamson also asked for a temporary stay of Peshek’s placement.

Wagner ordered the stay until Tuesday’s hearing determines the legality of the measurement and consequently the status of the Camp Lake Road house as a sex offender residence. If the Camp Lake Road address is found to not be appropriate, Kenosha County will have to provide an alternative that meets the statutory requirements, Wagner said.

“This is not a surprise,” Wagner said. “Kenosha County has to fix this problem.”

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