A homeless convicted sex offender has lost an appeal to live in the City of Sun Prairie.
Edward L. Thomas, age 36, is the first person to be denied under the city ordinance that restricts where registered sex offenders can live.
Thomas told the Sun Prairie Sex Offender Residency Board he wanted to live on the 600 block of Schiller Street.
“I am trying to make some changes and better myself, rather than paying a lot of money to live in a hotel,” Thomas said at the April 13 appeal hearing.
Thomas said the Sun Prairie landlord knew of his sex offender status and was ready to rent to him.
Thomas was convicted of two separate second-degree sexual assaults of a child in 2008 and 2009 in Columbia County. He was also convicted for second-degree sexual assault of a minor in Connecticut in 2013. The children ranged in age from 13-15.
Thomas served five years in prison for the sexual assaults in Wisconsin.
The Sun Prairie Sex Offender Residency Board unanimously denied Thomas’ appeal request.
City ordinance restricts registered sex offenders from living within 500 feet of parks, libraries, athletic fields, schools, “protected locations" and other areas where children congregate.
The board can grant exemptions to the ordinance during an appeal and review an offender’s record for remorse for the crime, rehabilitation and the possibility of re-offending.
The Sex Offender Residency Board has granted two appeals since the board was formed in 2018.