01STOCK_ROCKCOUNTY_SEAL

JANESVILLE

A Rock County committee has found housing for a child sex offender who is in treatment, but it’s unclear whether the location meets all state criteria.

The county has until March 27 to find housing for Mark Taber, a child sex offender currently in treatment at a facility in Mauston.

Under state law, people convicted of sexually violent crimes must be released under supervision in their counties of residence.

Greg Winkler, a behavioral health division manager with the Rock County Department of Human Services, said Wednesday the county has identified a possible home for Taber in the town of Lima.

Winkler is a member of the county’s 980 Temporary Committee, which met Wednesday to discuss placement options for Taber.

Because he is a sexually violent offender, Taber cannot live within 1,500 feet of schools, churches, child-care centers, parks, places of worship and youth centers. He also cannot live adjacent to properties where children live because he is a child sex offender.

Winkler said finding a site was easier than expected. Taber has disabilities, and My Choice Family Care, which treats seniors and adults with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities, assisted in the search for Taber’s housing, Winkler said.

The county was notified that My Choice would help find housing for Taber after the committee’s first meeting in January, Winkler said. The two entities have been coordinating their searches.

Winkler said the town of Lima location meets all the state’s criteria except that children might live on a property that shares a line with it.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office was expected to release a report on the location Wednesday but had not by The Gazette’s print deadline.

Winkler said the county will have to find a new location if children live at an adjacent property.

Taber was found to be a sexually violent offender, meaning he suffers from a mental disorder and is highly likely to re-offend.

He is a Rock County resident who was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in 1991.

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