Sex offenders heading to Hanover

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Thursday, April 26, 2012
— The notice that two sex offenders will move next week into the same home in Hanover—population 181—is worrying some residents.

Plymouth Town Chairman Larry Harding's phone has been ringing off the hook, and neighbors have been stopping by asking what they can do, Harding said.

"I just tell them, 'Sit tight,'" he said. "I try to explain to them it's beyond our control at this point. Courts have made that decision."

He's encouraging residents to attend a community meeting about the offenders' release at 6 p.m. Monday at the Plymouth Town Hall.

Clayton J. Smith, 51, and William H. Stuit, 64, will move from Rock Valley Community Programs south of Janesville to a home at 8121 W. Mill Street, in unincorporated Hanover about 10 miles southwest of Janesville, according to news releases from the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Stuit was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in 1986. He was civilly committed under the state's sexually violent person law in 1999.

Stuit admitted sexually assaulting 150 to 200 young boys, according to Gazette archives.

He was convicted of sexual perversion and indecent behavior with a child in 1972. He was released in 1978 but a short time later had sexual contact with three boys, according to a 2000 Gazette story. After treatment and release in 1986, he sexually assaulted another boy within a few months.

Smith was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in 1992. He was civilly committed under the state's sexually violent person law in 1997.

Smith is convicted of sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl he knew during July and August 1990, according to the state's petition for commitment. He also was convicted of a burglary in 1982 that he admitted was sexually motivated, according to court records.

It's the first time in sheriff's Capt. Jude Maurer's four years of providing sex offender release notifications that he's seen two offenders move into the same house on the same date.

Smith's supervised release plan indicates the state Department of Health Services identified the home, and the state Department of Corrections approved it.

"The supervised releases program has experienced success with shared living arrangements in the past and feels this placement option will benefit both Mr. Smith and the other 980 client (Stuit)," the plan states.

Harding pointed out that another sex offender was relocated last fall within a block of the Mill Street home.

"Why here?" Harding said. "Because it's a sleepy little town and maybe no one will notice or care?"

Last updated: 8:04 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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