EXCLUSIVE: Shawano Co. family enraged about sex offender loophol - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Shawano Co. family enraged about sex offender loophole

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BIRNAMWOOD, Wis. (WAOW) -

A legal loophole could place a violent child sex offender within feet of two Shawano County children.

The children's mother Amanda Uttecht is enraged and terrified. 

"Not safe," she told Newsline 9 in an exclusive interview. "We live way out in the country, my kids play outside, we live on a farm."

It's a tale we've heard before, a family upset about a sex offender moving nearby. But this one has a different layer to it.

There is a small piece of land between the family's Birnamwood home and the sex offender's house. Because there is land separating the two, the state is legally able to place a sex offender there, even if it is within 1500 feet of a child's home, which is the current statute. 

The twist: that property separating the two is also owned by the family. 

"It's ridiculous, frustrating," said Uttecht. "You would never think your own property parcel would separate your other property parcel to make the fact that they live right next door okay."

The state said they have to house offenders somewhere, and finding options can be tricky. 

"The Shawano case is an example of a transfer from another county where appropriate housing could not be located," said State Defense Attorney Robert Peterson. 

Until things change, Uttecht is being as protective as possible. 

"We even changed all our door locks and everything," she said. "We tell them if they ever, ever step foot inside our yard, get in the house right away and call 911."

Her family is working with local lawmakers. They hope they can eventually redraw their property lines. 

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