Parents in a Wisconsin neighborhood are frightened and outraged after two men, convicted for sexually violent crimes against children, were allowed by a judge to move into a Green Bay neighborhood filled with children and close to several schools.
Green Bay’s Action 2 News reports that 56-year old Andrew Ashton and 43-year-old Howard Carter are both sexual predators convicted of sexual assault involving children. The convicts spent time at the Sand Ridge Treatment Center, a “secure treatment center” that houses violent sexual offenders under “Wisconsin’s Sexually Violent Persons Program.”
The pair completed their required time at the treatment center, which is supposed to rehabilitate offenders and help them make a “safe return” to the community. On Thursday, the pair moved to a home together in a neighborhood on the west side of Green Bay. Court documents indicate that a judge indeed allowed the move.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections’ Sex Offender Registry, the pair moved to 927 Liberty Street in Green Bay on February 15. The home is situated blocks from an elementary school, middle school, high school, and numerous area parks.
Court documents also stated Ashton was convicted in 1990 of first-degree assault. Carter has convictions spanning from 1994 to 2002, which include burglary, two counts of third-degree sexual assault, and fourth-degree sexual assault. A “Sexually Violent Person Petition” was granted for both men.
According to one of the parents in the neighborhood, there was no warning given until a day prior to the men moving in. The parent said he’s now considering moving from a home he’s owned for decades.
“Literally finding out 13 hours ago via social media gives us no time to educate our children about this and what they do and how this is going to change their life and ours, all of ours,” the neighbor told Action 2 News. “Our security is gone.”
Another homeowner, Jennifer, told CrimeOnline that authorities are doing nothing to protect children if they allow sexual predators to move into a neighborhood filled with kids.
“I am absolutely sickened by the lack of ambition to protect children in this situation….We don’t want our neighborhood to deteriorate.”
Jennifer said she contacted the Green Bay police, but authorities told her nothing could be done since the judge approved the move. It’s something she hopes will change, for the sake of children.
“There needs to be more done regarding placement of violent sex offenders, not only in the city of Green Bay, but all cities.”
Meanwhile, District Alderman Brian Johnson is reportedly bringing the issues to city hall. He’s hoping to get ordinances created that give residents at least two weeks notice before sexual predators move to a neighborhood.
Green Bay’s Department of Health Services (DHS) responded to the overwhelming complaints, and said the sex offenders will not be released without supervision.
“Unlike the majority of sex offenders, who are released from the Department of Corrections (DOC) to live anywhere they choose, persons placed in the community on supervised release remain under the strict supervision of the Department of Health Services. DHS uses as many measures as possible under the law to protect the community from any potential risk, regardless of whether a person is placed in a rural or urban area.”
Regardless, the situation doesn’t sit right with Jennifer, who said she’ll likely start a petition and visit local congressman, Mark Gallagher.
“This is an example of complete failure to serve and protect a community, but not just a community, to serve and protect beautiful, innocent children.”
The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Howard Carter and Andrew Ashton/Wisconsin Department of Corrections]