A sex offender will not be placed at a Janesville motel after residents protested.
It’s not clear if a petition drive and residents complaining to police had an effect on the state Department of Corrections decision, released Monday.
Kevin W. Spaulding, 53, was scheduled to move to the Lannon Stone Motel, 1524 E. Racine St., as soon as Monday.
A department spokesman said via email that “DOC was informed that Spaulding is not able to live at the residence initially proposed for placement.”
Two women who established a petition drive to stop the move were told the motel’s owner had rescinded his invitation.
The Gazette could not reach the motel owner for comment Monday.
The change.org petition drive had more than 2,100 signers by Monday morning.
“I’m thrilled they’re not going to put him there. I also feel pretty empowered that I can make a difference,” said one of the women, Brooke Gille.
Megan Lazcano said she also brought paper petitions to Lannon Stone residents, who all signed it, including some who hadn’t heard Spaulding was planning to move there.
The move was announced Thursday, spurring residents’ protests. A group from St. John Vianney School, 1250 E. Racine St., met with Police Chief Dave Moore on Friday, and as a result Moore wrote to state Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher, Moore said.
Moore said he requested a meeting with department officials to discuss a better placement.
The motel is nearest to St. John Vianney, but it’s also close to Roosevelt Elementary, St. Paul’s Lutheran and Craig High schools, Moore noted.
The motel is also close to Palmer Park, a restaurant, gas station and ice cream store all frequented by children, Moore said.
In addition, homeless families often are placed at the Lannon Stone, so Spaulding would have lived in the same facility as children, Moore said.
Spaulding will remain at Rock Valley Community Programs, 203 W. Sunny Lane, between Janesville and Beloit, where he has been living, according to a Monday-morning news release from Janesville police, who were quoting a notice from the Department of Corrections.
Spaulding could move to another place at any time if approved by his agent, according to rules of his supervision.
Spaulding’s agent would not talk to The Gazette, saying the department would not permit him to speak to the press.
Asked how long Spaulding would stay at Rock Valley, Department of Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook said “information regarding (sex offender) registrants is available on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry website. Any changes to Spaulding’s residence would occur through the same process as before.”
Cook noted Spaulding must wear a GPS locator bracelet for the rest of his life.
Lazcano and Gille suggested there must be places Spaulding can live that are not close to children.
According to court records, Spaulding was convicted in Rock County of:
- Third-degree sexual assault in 1990.
- First-degree sexual assault of a child in 1993, when he was sentenced to 10 years probation.
- First-degree sexual assault of a child in 2007, when the victim was a 6-year-old girl he was baby-sitting. He was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of extended supervision.
- Violating his lifetime supervision condition Nov. 29. He was sentenced to one year of probation.
The criminal complaint in the most recent case says Spaulding started an unapproved romantic relationship in March with a woman who has a minor child and then lied about it to his agent and violated his 8 p.m. curfew by 30 minutes April 10.
He told the woman he was a convicted sex offender, but he told her the victim was “a teenager and not a child,” according to the complaint.
Spaulding is forbidden to have contact with minors; go to bars, taverns or liquor stores; contact his victims; or consume alcohol or other drugs, according to the news release. He must get approval to participate in “activities in the community” and must comply with standard sex-offender rules.
Spaulding previously had been released to Rock Valley Community Programs in 2014 and to 1214 Cherry St. in Janesville in November 2016, according to Gazette records.