Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Six sex offenders arrested during trick-or-treating

by Rob Ireland

November 01, 2012

ELKHORN — Six registered sex offenders were arrested for allegedly violating the terms of their probation during trick-or-treat hours.

On Sunday, Oct. 28 and Wednesday, Oct. 31, law enforcement agencies throughout Walworth County conducted "Operation Trick or Treat," according to a press release from the Walworth County Sheriff's Department.

Walworth County Sheriff's Capt. Scott McClory said Operation Trick or Treat is conducted because the sheriff's department is obligated to "keep the community as a whole as safe as possible at all times.

"That includes during hours of trick-or-treating where children can certainly be put in harms way," McClory said. "They are certainly vulnerable when they walk around a neighborhood and they are going to people's houses some of which they don't know."

Those arrested during operation trick or treat were:

Richard L. Burge, 25, city of Lake Geneva.

Christopher McFadd, 26, city of Lake Geneva.

Brian Chapman, 28, town of Geneva.

James Esposito, 56, town of Delavan.

Christopher L. Wegner, 29, city Of Delavan.

Zachary A Ruisch, age 28, town of Troy.

All six were immediately arrested and confined in the Walworth County Jail. Two additional alleged violators now have warrants for their arrests, which will bring the total to eight, according to a press release from the Walworth County Sheriff's Department. Sex offenders under active community supervision are required to comply with certain rules.

This is the fourth year for the compliance-enforcement program. Last year nine were arrested.

"During Operation Trick-or-Treat the rules are very clear," McClory said. "Those people on active supervision get the letter and they know exactly what is and what isn't allowed and they know we are going to come and check on them."

Those on active supervision receive a "florescent pink" 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet that states "no trick-or-treating at this residence." That sign has to be posted.

"They have to be home an hour before trick-or-treating starts in their jurisdiction, during the entire trick-or-treating hours and an hour after trick-or-treating," McClory said.

Halloween decorations, jack-o'-lanterns and anything that celebrates the holiday is prohibited from being displayed at the residence.

Members of law enforcement, along with probation and parole agents, went to the homes of 114 known registered sex offenders on active supervision through the Department of Corrections.

"It's a good thing that so many people were in compliance," McClory said.

If a registered sex offender is no longer on active supervision, they are not required to comply with these regulations.

"Obviously, they still have normal things they would need to continue to do as part of the life-time registry," McClory said. "If they move they have to notify the department of corrections and local law enforcement."

McClory said there are three deputies, one on every shift, who regularly check on whether registered sex offenders comply with the law.

"We don't want to see them reoffend and we don't want to see them put the community in harm's way," McClory said. "If they choose not to stay in compliance, and our team finds out about, we write up the reports, we send them over to the DA's Office and the department of corrections and they review them and the decided if either charges are warranted or if they should be arrested.

The Walworth County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Registry Team and probation and parole agents were assisted by police officers from the Whitewater, Elkhorn, town of Bloomfield, Lake Geneva, and Darien police departments.