FOND DU LAC -- Dozens of Fond du Lac residents are appealing to a judge in Milwaukee County over the possible placement of a violent sex offender. Many of those concerned in this case packed into a meeting in the Town of Eldorado on Monday evening, December 7th.
A Milwaukee County judge will ultimately decide whether the sex offender will be placed on Fond du Lac County.
Some in Fond du Lac County say the man should be sent to his home county. Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials say they tried that, but he cannot be placed there.
In Eldorado on Monday evening, nearly every seat was filled inside the Eldorado Town Hall.
Those in attendance said it's not right for the state to place Clint Rhymes in a home along Nitchske Road.
"Keep him down where he belongs and if they can`t find a place for him down there, leave him where he is until they can find a place," George Pucker said.
Rhymes was convicted in 1988 of sexual assault and attempted murder. Rhymes raped his victim, and nearly beat her to death with a tire iron. The violent nature of the crime is why some neighbors are so upset.
"It`s disgusting. He should be back in jail again. What the heck`s he even getting out for? That`s what I can`t believe," Wally Gellings said.
The main complaint in this case: Why the state would place a man in Fond du Lac County, when he was convicted in Milwaukee County.
"I don`t believe this gentleman belongs here -- or any out-of-county sex offenders belong in this township," Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink said.
Milwaukee has an ordinance that says sex offenders cannot be placed within 2,000 square feet of a school, park, playground or daycare facility.
Department of Health Services officials say that ordinance, and similar ones in Milwaukee-area suburbs forced state officials to look elsewhere.
A DHS spokeswoman says "in this case, DHS was unable to find an appropriate location in Milwaukee County. Therefore, the judge ordered DHS to expand its search statewide."
"Milwaukee`s put us in a precarious position," Sheriff Fink said.
At the meeting Monday evening, Fond du Lac County officials passed out labeled envelopes -- asking residents to share their thoughts with the Milwaukee County judge.
"We don`t want him here, period, just plain and simple," Pucker said.
Originally, Rhymes was set to be placed in Milwaukee, but officials there, including Alderman Tony Zielinski protested that decision.
Zielinski says that's because there were already two sex offenders at the proposed location.
He believes there are still places for him in Milwaukee County and says the state is just shifting the blame.