Wisconsin Sex Offender Laws

By: Karen Kostko
By: Karen Kostko

How do you know if there is a sex offender living in your neighborhood? That is a question that many may not know the answer to.

Sexual assault coordinators at the Wausau Women's Community Center have to stay up to speed with that information, including the laws and regulations when it comes to sex offenders in their communities.

Coordinators say that is because they come in contact with victims every day.

"Sex offenders do exist, they are living in our community, registered or not registered," says Jessica Lind, Sexual Assault Coordinator.

There are several sexual assault laws put into place in Wisconsin. Those laws fall into two categories, adult cases and child cases. Both hold different penalties. If someone is convicted of a sex crime, they may be ordered to register with the state's Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry.

Not all sex offenders have to register. In order to register, offenders have to be convicted of either a first, second, or third degree felony. Misdemeanors are excused all together.

There have also been a few changes to Wisconsin state laws involving sex offenders. In 1995, a statute passed not permitting sex offenders to work or volunteer around children. In 2003, offenders were ordered, if using an alias, to place that name along with their legal name on the registry.

So, how do you find out who is living in your community. You can access that information by logging in at: www.offender.doc.state.wi.us

All you have to do is place your zip code of the area your interested in or the person's name. Pictures along with detailed information will appear on that website.