[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Genesee 6-10-2013 by Ord. No. 13-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is a regulatory measure aimed at protecting the health and safety of children from the risk that convicted sex offenders may reoffend in locations close to their residences. The governing body finds and declares that sex offenders are a serious threat to public safety. When convicted sex offenders reenter society, they are much more likely than any other type of offender to be rearrested for a new sexual assault. The governing body further finds that, given the high rate of recidivism for sex offenders and that reducing opportunity and temptation is important to minimizing the risk of reoffense, there is a need to protect children where they congregate or play in public places, in addition to the protections afforded by state law near schools, and other places children frequent. The governing body finds and recognizes that, in addition to schools, there are other areas where children congregate or play.
This chapter is not intended to impose a criminal penalty or punishment on sexual offenders but rather to serve the municipality's compelling interest to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of children in the municipality by creating areas around locations where children regularly congregate in concentrated numbers where sexual offenders and sexual predators are prohibited from loitering and/or establishing temporary or permanent residence and by regulating certain activities that may be used by sexual offenders to prey upon children.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context otherwise requires:
- A person under the age of 18.
- Two or more persons under the age of 18.
- CHILD SAFETY LOCATION
- The site upon which any of the following are located without regard to whether such site is located within the geographic limits of the Town of Genesee:
- A. Facility for children;
- B. Group home, as defined in § 48.02(7), Wis. Stats.;
- C. Library that is held open for use by the public where such library includes a collection of material specifically intended for use by children;
- D. Licensed day-care center as defined in § 48.65, Wis. Stats.;
- E. Public or private elementary or secondary school;
- F. Recreational trail, playground or park where children regularly gather;
- G. Specialized school for children, including, without limitation, a gymnastics academy, dance academy, or music school;
- H. Swimming pool, wading pool, or aquatic facility held open for use by the public; and
- I. A public or private golf course or range.
- CHILD SAFETY ZONE
- Any place within the municipality that is physically located within 1,000 feet of any child safety location.
- CRIME AGAINST CHILDREN
- Any of the following offenses set forth within the Wisconsin Statutes, as amended, or the laws of this or any other state or the federal government having like elements necessary for conviction where the victim is a child, respectively:
- An individual's fixed and permanent home where the individual intends to remain permanently and indefinitely and to which whenever absent the individual intends to return; provided, however, that no individual may have more than one domicile at any time. "Domicile" does not include a residence for any special or temporary purpose.
- FACILITY FOR CHILDREN
- A public or private school, a group home, as defined in § 48.02(7), Wis. Stats., a residential care center for children and youth, as defined in § 48.02(15d), Wis. Stats., a shelter care facility, as defined in § 48.02(17), Wis. Stats., a day-care center licensed under § 48.65, Wis. Stats., a day-care program established under § 120.13(14), Wis. Stats., a day-care provider certified under § 48.651, Wis. Stats., or a youth center, as defined in § 961.01(22), Wis. Stats.
- A person under the age of 17.
- PERMANENT RESIDENCE
- A place where the person abides, lodges, or resides for 14 or more consecutive days.
- SEX OFFENDER
- A person who has been convicted of, found delinquent of, or found not guilty by reason of disease or mental defect of a sexually violent offense and/or a crime against children.
- SEXUALLY VIOLENT OFFENSE
- Has the meaning set forth in § 980.01(6), Wis. Stats., as amended from time to time.
- TEMPORARY RESIDENCE
- A place where the person abides, lodges, or resides for a period of 14 or more days in the aggregate during any calendar year and which is not the person's permanent residence or a place where the person routinely abides, lodges, or resides for a period of four or more consecutive or nonconsecutive days in any month and which is not the person's permanent residence.
Child safety zone restriction. Subject to the original domicile restrictions in Subsection B and the exceptions in Subsection C, no sex offender shall establish a permanent residence or temporary residence within the Town of Genesee that is within a child safety zone, as determined by following a straight line from the outer property line of the permanent residence or temporary residence to the nearest outer property line of any child safety location.
Original domicile restriction. In addition to Subsection A, but subject to the exceptions in Subsection C, no sex offender shall establish a permanent or temporary residence within the Town of Genesee and no supervised release of a sex offender shall be established in Town of Genesee unless such person was domiciled in the Town of Genesee at the time of the offense resulting in the person's most recent conviction for committing the sexually violent offense and/or crime against children.
Exceptions. A sex offender may not be found to be in violation of the residency restrictions in Subsection A if the sex offender establishes that any of the following apply:
The person was domiciled in the Town of Genesee prior to June 13, 2013; provided, however, that if the person was then subject to § 301.45, Wis. Stats., the person must have also reported and registered the residence pursuant to § 301.45, Wis. Stats., prior to such date to take advantage of the exception.
The person is a minor and is not required to register under §§ 301.45 and 301.46, Wis. Stats.
The child safety location began after the sex offender had established the permanent residence or temporary residence and reported and registered the residence if required pursuant to § 301.45, Wis. Stats.
The sex offender is subject to an active court order to serve a sentence or is otherwise involuntarily required to reside in a jail, prison, juvenile facility, or other correctional institution or mental facility within the child safety zone.
No person shall let or rent any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer or other conveyance with the knowledge that it will be used as a permanent residence or temporary residence by a sex offender contrary to the provisions of § 474-3 of this chapter.
Prohibited activities by sex offenders. Except as provided in Subsection B, no sex offender shall participate in a holiday event in the Town of Genesee involving one or more children by means of distributing candy or other items to such child or children in relationship to Halloween, wearing a Santa Claus costume in a public place in relationship to Christmas, or wearing an Easter bunny costume in a public place in relationship to Easter, or other similar activities that may, under the circumstances then present, tend to entice a child to have contact with a sex offender.
Loitering by sex offender. No sex offender shall loiter or prowl on or within 200 feet of any child safety location, at a time or in a manner not usual for law abiding individuals, under circumstances that warrant alarm for the safety of the persons or property in the vicinity. Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such alarm is warranted is the fact that the actor takes flight upon appearance of a law enforcement officer, refuses to identify himself or herself or manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or herself or any object. Unless flight by the actor or other circumstances make it impractical, a law enforcement officer shall, prior to any arrest for an offense under this section, afford the actor an opportunity to dispel any alarm which would otherwise be warranted by requesting him or her to identify himself or herself or explain his or her presence and conduct at the aforementioned locations. No person shall be convicted of an offense under this section if the law enforcement officer did not comply with the preceding sentence or if it appears at trial that the explanation given by the actor was true and, if believed by the law enforcement officer at the time, would have dispelled the alarm.
Exceptions. The prohibitions set forth in Subsection A of this section shall not apply where the sex offender is a minor who is with one or both of his or her parents or guardian at the time of the offense or the actor was exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, including freedom of speech, free exercise of religion and the right of assembly.
The Town Clerk's office shall maintain an official map showing child safety zones within the Town. The Town Clerk's office shall update the map at least annually to reflect any changes in the location of child safety zones. The map is to be displayed in the office of the Genesee Town Clerk. In the event of a conflict, the terms of this chapter shall control. In no event shall a failure to update the map in compliance with this chapter preclude the prosecution or conviction of any sex offender under this chapter.
Each violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties and remedies described in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, General Penalty, of this Code. Each day a person maintains a residence in violation of this chapter constitutes a separate violation. The Town may also seek equitable relief to gain compliance.