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Pending release of sex offenders prompts Delavan meeting

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Darryl Enriquez
October 11, 2010
— The impending release of two violent sex offenders has prompted police to host a community meeting to inform residents about the two men, their conditions of release and the measures in place to protect the public.

The meeting will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Town of Delavan Community Park Building, Highway 50 at South Shore Drive.


Police often notify local media when sex offenders leave prisons or state mental institutions. Informational meetings geared directly at the public are rare.


"I want this to be open," Delavan Police Chief Phillip Smith said. "It was my decision to make (on how to notify residents). My concern is that the public is educated about this."


Representatives from the Walworth County District Attorney's Office and the state Department of Corrections will be at the meeting to address questions and concerns of residents, Smith said.


The process of releasing sex offenders into communities is complicated. Clearing up the misconceptions is one reason for the meeting, Smith said. Only written questions will be answered, according to a press release from the police.


State statutes authorize law enforcement agencies to announce a sex offender's release to enhance public safety and awareness.


James R. Funk, 38, and Jeffery S. Pestor, 48, will be released on or about Oct. 20. Both men will live at 5698 Marsh Road.


Funk was sentenced to prison in 1993 for sexually assaulting a mentally disabled man.


Funk later was transferred to Sand Ridge Secure Mental Treatment Facility in Mauston after he was determined to be sexually violent.


Late last month, Walworth County Judge John Race authorized Funk's release after determining he was unlikely to re-offend based on the progress of his psychiatric treatment.


Pestor was convicted in 1984 of the abduction and first-degree sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl. He, too, was later found to be sexually violent and sent to a mental health facility.


Both men will have continuous GPS monitoring and home confinement unless escorted by an authorized person.


They will be subject to frequent unannounced and random home visits by the Department of Corrections.


For additional information, visit the department's sex offender registry at widocoffenders.org.



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