Elkhorn City Council to hear appeal from sex offender who wants to live with his parents

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Andrea Anderson
June 21, 2015

ELKHORN—A convicted sex offender said an Elkhorn ordinance is standing in the way of him moving forward with his life and helping his parents.

Michael C. Hoffman Jr., is the first person to appeal the city's ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live. He filed the appeal paperwork May 15 and will make his case at 5 p.m. Monday at the Elkhorn City Council meeting.

“I want to leave my past behind, and I want to move on with my life,” Hoffman told The Gazette. “I want to help my family and friends as much as I can.”

Hoffman, 45, was convicted in 1989 in Jefferson County of three counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of bail jumping, according to Jefferson County court records.

After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to four years in prison and eight years of probation, records indicate. He'll be on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry.

The Elkhorn ordinance adopted in October restricts registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and other places children frequent.

Since Elkhorn put the ordinance on the books, other Walworth County communities, fearing becoming dumping grounds for sex offenders, have approved similar ordinances.

Proponents say the ordinances protect children and the community. Opponents say they create a false sense of security.

Hoffman has appealed to the Elkhorn City Council for an exception, as is allowed under the ordinance. The council will vote if Hoffman can live at the address he listed, 408 Amparo St.

Hoffman said he moved there about six weeks ago to help his mother and step-father, who are retired. Prior to that, he lived in Muskego for 19 years, he said.

The city council will weigh community safety and Hoffman's information before making a decision, Mayor Brian Olson said.

“We will take public concern into effect, take applicant's comments into effect and base our decision off the applicant's application and support letters,” Olson said. “You want to take into consideration the community's input as well.”

The five-person council is qualified to make the decision because it adopted the ordinance, Olson said.

The Gazette was not able to reach city council members for comment.

On June 13, 1989, Hoffman had sex with a 13-year-old girl in a storage facility in the town of Rome. The following Friday, the two had sex in Hoffman's car at a local park, according to a criminal complaint filed June 1989 in Jefferson County Court.

In a separate complaint filed July 1989, Hoffman is described as having sex with a 15-year-old girl between June 1 and June 25, 1989, at his grandmother's home in the town of Rome.

Hoffman admitted to having sex at the grandmother's home with the 15-year-old girl in an interview with a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office detective, according to a complaint. He was 19 at the time of each incident.

Hoffman also pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old girl at a friend's birthday party Feb. 16, 1988, in the town of Sullivan. The charge was dismissed and read in, according to court documents.

In the two-page application to the Elkhorn City County, Hoffman wrote: “My actions were very immature, selfish and offensive. Through all of my life of making mistakes and receiving counseling for my mistakes, I have realized how damaging my actions were to my victims.”

Hoffman was also sentenced in April 2006 in Waukesha County to nine months in jail after a jury found him guilty of misdemeanor sex with a child age 16 or older and not guilty of three felony counts of second-degree sexual assault with an unconscious victim, according to online court records.

Hoffman listed the Jefferson County offenses but not the Waukesha County offense on his appeal form. He did that because the Waukesha County charges didn't reflect what happened, he said.

Hoffman has hired attorney Frank Lettenberger, who will be with him Monday at the council meeting.

Hoffman is listed as compliant on the Wisconsin Department of Correction's Sex Offender Registry. He is no longer under supervision by the Department of Corrections.

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