MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- A Milwaukee County judge on Wednesday, December 16th set a date to determine where Clint Rhymes, a convicted sex offender, will live. This action took place after the state's Department of Health Services withdrew its plan to place Rhymes in Fond du Lac County. A hearing is now set for February 24th to determine where Rhymes will live.
"People of good demeanor and goodwill in Fond du Lac County would prefer not to have Mr. Rhymes placed there," Milwaukee County Judge Mark Sanders said Wednesday. "I got a whole stack of letters from various residents in Fond du Lac County."
51-year-old Rhymes appeared in court via video Wednesday.
Rhymes was convicted of a violent sexual assault and attempted homicide in 1998 and sentenced to serve 26 years in prison for raping his victim and nearly beating her to death with a tire iron.
After serving time, Rhymes was recommended for supervised release.
Rhymes was set to be placed in the Town of Eldorado in Fond du Lac County. This, after earlier this year, DHS officials tried to place him in Milwaukee County.
That plan was rejected as a result of a strict ordinance as to where sex offenders are allowed to live in Milwaukee County.
With special permission, DHS officials then proposed placing Rhymes in Fond du Lac County, in the Town of Eldorado.
DHS officials indicated in their letter to the court on Monday that "matters outside of our control have led to this placement no longer being viable" -- referring to an ordinance passed in the Town of Eldorado and public opposition.
Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney said this in a statement on Monday:
"I am happy to see that DHS has changed course and listened to the concerns of those within the Eldorado community and taken into consideration an ordinance prohibiting the placement in Eldorado of an individual with no ties to Eldorado. Despite this being positive news, there is still work to be done on this issue. Fond du Lac County refuses to become the Guantanamo Bay dumping ground for sex offenders with no ties to our community.
I would call upon our Wisconsin Legislature to proactively address this concern in order to prevent Fond du Lac County and other communities from experiencing this type of public safety concern with an individual with no ties to the community."
Judge Sanders ruled Wednesday that Milwaukee County officials have 60 days to develop a placement proposal for Rhymes, while directing DHS officials to continue researching placement options.
"It's always nice to see citizens of a small town, like Eldorado, be involved in their government, and be involved in what happens," Matt Parmentier, Town of Eldorado attorney said.
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