JUNEAU — A supervised release plan was approved in a Dodge County Courtroom for Jonathan Miller, a convicted sex offender, who has been eligible for supervised release since May 2015.
Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Brian Pfitzinger approved the release of Miller, 31, to reside in a home at N8995 Bluebird Road, Birnamwood, in Shawano County. The population of Birnamwood was listed as 818 in 2010.
Miller’s attorney, Robert Peterson, said that Miller had one request and that was to visit his family in Dodge County once a month.
Pfitzinger denied that request after Scott Timm, contract specialist for Department of Services, who appeared by phone, said that it was not allowed by state statutes.
“We do support visits in Shawano County and note that family has visited him as recently as August 2017,” Timm said.
Peterson argued that Miller has actually been on supervised release for more than the year that would be required for him to be granted the right to travel to visit family.
“It is appropriate for a period of transition to exist,” Pfitzinger said. “The request remains denied.”
Miller and Robert Larson Jr. have been on supervised release from Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston since May 2015, but the state has struggled to find a suitable home for placement. Initial efforts to place them included multiple sites in Dodge County.
They both were convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
The Chapter 980 (Sexually Violent Persons Law) program was created in 1994 and allows the state to civilly commit offenders who are deemed to be sexually violent after they have served their prison sentences. The program was created as a way to continue to protect the public from violent sex offenders and provide treatment to offenders.
Miller will be transitioned sometime in the next month to his new home in Shawano County, allowing for notifications to occur.
Larson was approved for a conditional placement in September, for an agreed-upon residence not specified in court records.
Larson and Miller were initially set to be placed in a home near Brownsville, but were required to return to Sand Ridge after Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt learned that the home where the offenders were going to be placed was adjacent to a home where two young children lived.
The placement did not violate state statutes at the time, but raised enough concerns that state Rep. Mark Born of Beaver Dam authored a bill changing the law and imposing a 1,500 foot residency restriction, which went into effect March 1, 2016.