“Where is he going to go?” 29-year-old sex offender released, left homeless in Waukesha

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WAUKESHA -- Sex offenders have always lived in our communities, but it wasn't until the late 90s that law enforcement was able to share this information with the community. Now through social media, sex offenders are pinpointed on maps for neighbors to see. A sex offender just released in Waukesha is homeless.

29-year-old Thomas Kopp spent the last three years behind bars. He was convicted in 2012 of possessing child pornography.Thomas Kopp

Jerry Habanek

Jerry Habanek

"He created a library of child pornography through file sharing," said Sergeant Jerry Habanek with the Waukesha Police Department.

After serving his time, Kopp is now back on the streets.

"I would argue that we are safe," said Habanek. "We still do have the question of where is he going to go?"

According to the City of Waukesha sex offender residency ordinance, any registered sex offender cannot live within 1,500 feet of any school, park, park trails or anywhere children congregate. The child safe zones are indicated in green below. The boundary was recently increased from the previous 750-foot rule.child-safety-zone


"When a sex offender moves into these communities, these neighbors who have invested in these houses and have families in these communities then feel at risk, and that's what the Common Council is responding to (with the ordinance)," said Habanek.

Before Kopp was released, he found a vacancy at the Airport Lodge. The location falls in the approved areas for sex offenders -- however, the owner of the lodge refused to allow Kopp to stay there, telling FOX6 there are children that live on the property and he didn't want to put anyone in danger.

Airport Lodge

Airport Lodge

"So that made him homeless. So now he is homeless," said Habanek.

Airport Lodge

Airport Lodge

Kopp must check in with his probation officer every week and is monitored with a GPS device.

"It is a pretty exact locator, so there's not a big fudge factor. All the schools are fenced out, so if he goes near a school, probation and parole is immediately notified and he is picked up," Habanek said.

Kopp has a prior out-of-state/military conviction for possession of child pornography. Under his current restrictions, he cannot own any device that connects to the internet, nor can he access the internet from an establishment. He is also not to have any unsupervised contact with minors.


  • Rufus Wheeler

    So prison does not work. He can’t be regarded as deterred, and he can’t be regarded as rehabilitated. Or will not, anyway. So what’s the point? We have to come up with better answers.

  • Rudy101

    This law clearly is illegal, irrational and utterly reckless for public safety. This man has nothing to lose. He is homeless and he can’t even wander a community without imprisonment.

    He is fated to fail. In fact, you all have a law whereby a person, especially a homeless one, can’t be within the community wiithout breaking its laws. It is not possible to live in a community and not violate this 750 foot rule.

    How does it feel to have a law you know that can’t be followed, and you can jail people for breaking it?

    You don’t care? He deserves it? He brought it on himself?

    Just remember, no registry or residency restriction has been shown to protect a community. The only outcome has been shown to be is HIGHER rates of reoffense. But reoffense rates for offenders are so low anyway, you all FEEL so good to know you have person whose punishment is specifcally to be isolated, homeless and destitute.

    The residency restriction is a legislative punishment because there is ZERO rational relationship to public safety.

    I left the registry. I did it for public safety. Isn’t that funny?

      • Rudy101

        No. You should drop the residency restriction and allow this man a place to live. Then allow him to do a job that is to his ability. Then allow him to socialize and be a member of the community, no different from anyone else. If he has a diagnosable sexual disorder you can take him to court a d have a court decide how best to keep the community safe, from compelling counselling to any other type of rational restriction.

        This man is 29 and there is no plan for this man except a lifetime of struggle, shame and alienation. Nothing he does will change his situation.

        The laws this man has to abide by are specifically putting the community at risk…

      • Rudy101

        You know, there is a difference between logic and simple thinking. Logic needs all the information before coming to a conclusion. It is logical to believe the world is flat, but only if you don’t know certain basics about the world you live in.

        On another note: I don’t have to be accountable to laws that are illegally applied ex-post facto, and without hearing, challenge or appeal, and has the only outcome of harm to me and by extension, community safety.

        My sentence is OVER! The State can’t add to it. Sorry about your “accountability” theory.

    • purelogic

      Hebrons homeless shelter for men . His parole officer will guide him to do the right thing it’s called free will we all have it but we also have something else and that is called self control lets hope he uses it .

      • Rudy101

        You know, there are LAWS on the book, that doesn’t allow the State to create laws for public safety that results in a loss of housing. You do know that, right?

        I left the registry. WHY? Because it is DANGEROUS to be on. I don’t have to choose between homelessness and following a law. I don’t have to choose between safety and security and following a law.

        It should be noted, that under the circumstances this man finds himself in, the vast majority of people would fail. The vast majority of people would become criminal to survive. The State takes away a home and doesn’t allow socialization is a recipe for disaster. Isn’t that obvious?

        We will take away YOUR home, take away all your friends, and give you no hope for the future and we will call that public safety is ludicious.

        Well, it’s only MORE children who will be victimized than otherwise would be…. But you will sleep well, because, well, you can reject basic human psychology.

    • purelogic

      Yeah well there are laws “ON THE BOOK ” that doesn’t allow child porn and rape and molestation . I’m done trying to explain why someone needs to take accountability for taking a child and abusing them for personal pleasure . have a nice life .

    • purelogic

      Responsible, liable , answerable , accountable are not theories sorry you cannot see that you are in denial .

      • Rudy101

        I am SAFE from registry laws. Thank God for that. I can’t imagine what my life would be like on a registry. Actually, I can. The State was doing exactly to me, what the State is doing to this gentleman, and that is forcing homelessness. I could not allow that. I have never been homeless. I don’t know how to be. I am not willing to find out. Therefore I left the registry. Since that time I become a productive and valuable member of my community. I don’t live in shame. I don’t hide. I interact with the community on a daily basis. I am secure.

        Do you really believe it would be legal to take all that away from me, for the only purpose to tell my neighbors of my conviction so as they can take it upon themselves to isolate me, AND pass laws to isolate me, under a system that the State only has to allege and not prove under any standard of proof an actual danger exists.

        The State literally has full authority to add ANYONE to this list, at any time, for any political reason, and only has to assert danger to place a comprehensive police State around me.

        I DEMAND due process. My sentence is over. The State is not allowed to politicize my crime. You all want to assert I am a danger? You can do that within a court of law. You do it in a legislature, I am going to laugh at the laws, and ignore them with impunity.

        DUE PROCESS is a DEMAND, not a request. It is a RIGHT, not a privlege.

        Totalitarian government hate due process. Totalitarian governments have all the answers and have no use for due process. The problem is: Totalitarian governments just don’t have that prerequisite of credibility that a COURT gives.

        A conviction, standing alone is just not enough. My punishment is OVER and you all can grind your teeth all you want, but I am not going back on this illegal registry.

  • Pay attention, Perverts. Society doesn't like you.

    Oh darn, he has to suffer now because he chose to be a pervert. How sad….
    Don’t really care if he finds housing. Now if he takes off that ankle monitor, then he should be tossed back in prison.

    • austinhecker

      The Meghan Law has no rehabilitation no remorse but plastering them all over the community postings. This creates a lot of homelessness and by sending back to prison, we pay thousands of dollars of taxes for housing them in prisons giving them free food, Medical, and,color TV. They should at least be giving one last chance at rehabilitation, if they fail then then throw away the key.

    • Rudy101

      In order to protect myself from society, that clearly doesn’t like me, I REFUSE to register. This is done for public safety. I don’t worry about harassment, homelessness, isolation, and alienation. That means, sociologically, it is clearly safer for the community to NOT register.

      • purelogic

        protect yourself from society ? Hey buddy it seems that you are the perpetrator……. you choose not to register you set yourself up to fail , you make bad decisions for yourself and reflect the outcome and blame it on others . Be accountable please .

  • Austin Hecker

    the Meghan law sucks The man should have a chance once if you low it then throw away the key. By allowing the Meghan law create homeless offenders, they will have a very high offending rate

Comments are closed.