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Sex Offender Discovered Living in Caledonia Near Two Schools

A Caledonia detective conducting an investigation on an unrelated case happens to find a sex offender living close to two schools. Police Chief Toby Schey said the find exposes a problem with the state's sex offender registry program.

If a detective with the Caledonia Police Department hadn't inadvertently found Peter T. Baumeister — a registered sex offender — living near two schools in the Kremer subdivision, he probably would still be living there.

Caledonia Police Chief Toby Schey said police would have never known about the man if not for the work done by the detective, but this case highlights a communications gap between the state's sex offender registry system and the department.

Baumeister, 37, of Caledonia, is a sex offender who was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child in Texas. He had been living in a residence in the 1500 block of Ellis Avenue, in the Kremer subdivision, since February. He pleaded no contest to the charge in 2004 and served six years in prison and was not under any type of supervision. However, he was required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and was compliant, according to a report by the Caledonia Police Department.

The state never notified Caledonia that he was living in the community, Schey said.

"It's certainly a gap in the system that I would like to see fixed," the chief said. "But we do get notified of the ones who are under supervision and we've prevented a lot of them from moving into the village."

So how did the Police Department find out about Baumeister?

The Caledonia detective was conducting an identity theft investigation that a relative of Baumeister's had filed with the department. She had learned that Baumeister was a convicted sex offender and living less than 700 feet away from St. Rita School and less than 1,500 feet away North Park Elementary School.

"It's certainly a gap in the system that I would like to see fixed."

Caledonia ordinance prohibits sex offenders from living in the village if they didn’t live in the community at the time of their offense and from living in protected zones.

Baumeister had registered with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department and with the state's sex offender registry when he moved in with another family member in Burlington in 2009. He moved to Caledonia in February and also notified the state of his new address.

Jackie Guthrie, director of public affairs for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, said that the department runs the state sex offender registry program in accordance to state statutes.

"We run the sex offender registry by Wisconsin state statutes as established by the state Legislature," she said. "Communities are notified in certain instances, but it depends on what type of sex offender they are... and it's based on their convictions and sentencing."

When the department realized Baumeister was living in Caledonia, detectives interviewed him. Baumeister told police he moved to the Caledonia residence so that he would be closer to “job opportunities,” but he was unemployed at the time. Baumeister said he would leave the residence on Ellis Avenue on Tuesday and move back with other family members who live in Burlington.

Find out more about Caledonia's sex offender placement ordinance, the state's sex offender registry and check out the Family Watch Dog website to see if there are sex offenders living near you.

Django Freeman May 17, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Someone should be held accountable for this. And I don't want to hear any nonsense of budget cuts being the cause. How many other sex offenders are living near schools that we don't know about. Heads need to roll on this thing. Plenty of hardworking, competent ppl are unemployed, time to get someone in there who will do the job.
me May 17, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Milwaukee county a few years back wanted to put up a house for perverts across the street from Franklin High school. In direct view of the girls cross country training field. Can you see these terds looking out the windows with telescopes?
WIRSOL May 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM
SORP was following state law, the person was following the laws of the county and state. In addition to that, there is absolutely no proof that any type of residency restriction prevents any kind of abuse, for 90% of child sex assault victims know their perpetrator and so do the parents. Rolling heads will not solve this problem and there is no one to be held accountable either. Some of the most egregious cases that have hit national news, Jaycee Dugard for instance, Phillip Guarrido drove four hours to kidnap her and he was on federal supervision coupled with GPS. Those girls in Indiana, their perpetrators traveled as well to kidnap them. Proximity to a school or where children gather is inconsequential. What needs to happen is education, both of the public and media and the offender too, because treatment is education. Training the mind, teaching values that many offenders were robbed of themselves in their formative years. We don't need to forget a person's past but we do need to let them grow and move forward so they may become productive, tax paying contributing citizens again, which is the best way to prevent new offenses altogether. But uprooting someone that appears to be trying to rebuild their life does more to make any person unstable than anything else, regardless if they have committed any crime or not. When worrying about potential sex offenders, worry about 80% of convictions a year that are of first time offenders.
YAMATO May 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM
They did their time and its time to come home. Restrictions are stupid. Only one cure for predators-CULLING. When you accept this, we can feel safer but due to dysfunctional men(usually) ..and because they are like weeds..they will always be with us
Dennis Gehrke May 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM
@WIRSOL I wonder if you would be so naive if sexual assault happened to you or your kids. Your comment points to a good number to reflect on. You said 80% of convictions are first time offenders, THIS MEANS 20% ARE FROM REPEAT OFFENDERS AND I DON'T WANT THAT CREEP NEAR MY KIDS SCHOOL. Heads need to roll. Thank you Caledonia Police for uncovering this felon who has no business near any kid, because they repeat as your stat shows.
YAMATO May 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Can't live within 1000ft. OK..but I'm walking, yeah walking toward the school..YEAH..or I'm driving...looking at your kids...stupid ordinance
Django Freeman May 17, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Then why do they even have the law? Maybe it should be changed if it's not going to be enforced. You're so naive to think "treatment" will do the trick. These ppl are sick in the head and have screwed up a kid's life. I don't feel sorry for them at all for being uprooted and being forced to have unstable. They aren't worthy of any type of compassion. They should pay for life. Their victim is scarred for the rest of their life.

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