By Brandi Makuski
One of two violent sex offenders placed in a state-monitored home near Rosholt has been taken back into custody for violating the terms of his release.
Jason Staves, 42, was granted a conditional release from Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston earlier this year, following two decades of treatment for sex offenders. Though he was convicted in Chippewa Co., the only suitable home for him—one monitored by the Dept. of Health Services, and meeting minimum distance requirements from schools, churches and other places families frequent—was located at 4068 St. Hwy. 49 near Rosholt, where he was placed in early February.
Staves served four years in prison after being convicted on two counts of second-degree child sex assault in 1993. He was then designated as a sexually violent person—a fairly new legal classification reserved for the state’s worst sex offenders, requiring additional confinement upon completion of a prison sentence.
Staves was arrested following a routine check by officials from Wisconsin Probation and Parole, who on Nov. 27 found in Staves’ possession a three-inch blade, video games and DVDs with sexually explicit covers, and a catalog containing photos of young girls.
According to the complaint, officials also believe Staves was no longer taking medication prescribed as part of his ongoing treatment.
Staves was booked into the Portage Co. Jail, where he stayed until being transferred back to Chippewa Co. for his Jan. 9 court appearance, when Judge Steve Cray ordered Staves be returned to Sand Ridge indefinitely.
Staves was the second sexually violent person placed in Portage Co. from another part of the state, with the first being his former roommate Peter Yogerst. Yogerst, 42, was convicted in a Washington Co. courtroom in 1994 on charges of second-degree sexual assault and intimidating a witness after he forced his way into a West Bend home and raped a woman living there.
Yogerst continues living in the Alban residence.
During the last public information meeting regarding Staves’ release, Shaun Morrow from the Dept. of Probation and Patrol, said that Staves, along with Yogerst and other sexually violent persons, must comply with a lengthy list of strict conditions following their placement back into the community. Their residences are subject to regular visits by caseworkers and police, and offenders cannot leave their residence without a chaperone approved by the DHS—and even then only for pre-approved reasons.
Offenders are also prohibited from obtaining sexually explicit material, contact with minors, alcohol/drug consumption and unsupervised internet access, he said, and are also required to wear electronic monitoring devices and subject to GPS tracking.
At least some of the extra conditions were implemented following testimony offered at the state level in December 2016 by Portage Co. District Attorney Louis Molepske, Sheriff Mike Lukas and Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland.
Public notification meetings were held in Rosholt prior to both inmates’ release, where county and state officials heard concerns and strong objections from those in attendance.
“There were rules he was supposed to follow and he did not follow them,” Lukas said on Wednesday. “So this is a good thing. People were really worried the state was just going to dump [the offenders] out there and leave them, but this shows they’re doing their jobs and keeping a good eye on them.”