You are here

WI: Sun Prairie alders eye changes to ordinance after threats of lawsuit

Convicted sex offenders are threatening to file lawsuits over an ordinance that restricts where they can live in the City of Sun Prairie.

City officials plan to head off litigation by considering changes to the city ordinance next week.

It’s something other Wisconsin municipalities dealt with this year after a federal court ruled that ordinances restricting where convicted sex offenders could live were unconstitutional.

Registered sex offenders aren’t allowed to live or loiter within 1,500 feet of a school, daycare center, park, playground, church, and other places where children under the age of 16 might be, according to the City of Sun Prairie ordinance.

They also can’t attend holiday parties where children under 18 of age will be present, distribute candy on Halloween, or wear a Santa Claus or Easter Bunny costume at events. There are exceptions if the children are related to the registered sex offender.

There are 36 convicted sex offenders living in the City of Sun Prairie, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry. There’s 939 listed in Dane County.

Sun Prairie City Attorney Mark Leonard said there have been several inquiries from attorneys on the ordinance and that the city has had appeals. He said alders plan to review the ordinance next week.

Read more