FOREST COUNTY – No one wants a violent sex offender in their community. By Wisconsin state law, offenders have to be placed back into their home county after serving their sentence.
In Jeffrey LeVasseur’s case, that’s Forest County, and he’s set to move in Thursday.
The Mole Lake Lodge Conference Center was packed with people Monday night who are not happy LeVasseur will be placed in a home south of Crandon and east of Mole Lake.
LeVasseur was convicted of assaulting two children in Forest County about 20 years ago.
Many people had different concerns to bring up: the lack of cell service, how remote the area is, and the property’s view of St. John’s Lake where families spend their summers, among other concerns. But one that seemed to baffle everyone was the complete lack of notification they got that LeVasseur would be coming to town.
“Actually I found out from my grandchildren,” said Mindy Hidde.
Hidde lives within three miles of 8901 Sand Lake Road, the home where sex offender Jeffrey LeVasseur will be placed.
“That concerns me a lot, that this person would have more rights than our innocent children and [unknowing] tourists,” said Hidde.
She has custody of her grandchildren, who have suffered abuse before.
“My grandchildren have PTSD, severe anxiety, and they’re upset,” said Hidde.
Hidde is far from the only one who heard the news from word of mouth.
“This was all kept secret,” said Neil Schallock.
Schallock owns property 16 yards from the home. He only found out about a week ago.
“It’s the worst thing that could’ve happened here,” said Schallock.
Both Schallock and Hidde were among the crowd that gathered in Mole Lake to talk with Sokaogon Chippewa tribal leaders and Town of Nashville Board members.
“You’re the ones that need to know this, and we need to know this,” said Tribal Chairman Chris McGeshick.
Both the tribe and town say they haven’t gotten notification either, and that the meeting on Monday was to figure out, as a community, what questions still need to be addressed.
“We’ll figure it out, but at least we’re asking the questions,” said McGeshick.
The tribe does have attorneys working to file an emergency injunction within the next two days to, temporarily, stop the placement until the community’s concerns can be heard.