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South Milwaukee's sex offender residency ordinance upheld by appeals court

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MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A state appeals court Wednesday upheld one community’s effort to keep child sex offenders from living close to where kids congregate.

The First District Appellate Court said there’s nothing wrong with South Milwaukee’s ordinance which prohibits convicted child molesters from living within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.

Todd Kester violated the ordinance in 2010, and a Milwaukee judge ordered him to move.

In his appeal, Kester said he was never given a chance to prove that he does not pose a danger to children – and he said the ordinance is unconstitutional because it creates new punishments.

The appellate court said Kester had no right to have his risk assessed – and the rules are designed to protect the community, not to punish offenders.

A number of Wisconsin communities have created bans on sex offenders living near schools, parks and other child hangouts.

Critics accuse local officials of placing de-facto bans on those offenders, and pushing them to other communities. 

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