Green Bay Sex Offender Denied Residency in Red Smith Neighborhood

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Steven Gittens_1518034655857364591
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A group of parents in Green Bay are fighting to get a sex offender out of their neighborhood.

Tuesday night, dozens of parents from the Red Smith neighborhood showed up at the city’s sex offender residency board meeting to make sure their voices were heard.

“You’ve been denied to live at 3480 Wiggins Way, you will have to leave,” explained Sex Offender Residency Board member, Dean Gerondale.

Green Bay’s sex offender residency board explaining to Steven Gittens, who is hearing-impaired, that he has not been granted permanent residency in the Red Smith neighborhood.

“What about that loophole? When you can stay two days and live somewhere else one day?” asked Gittens.

“Hey, I’m not here to distinguish what the ordinance says or doesn’t, but, the most you can stay is two nights at that location,” said Gerondale.

While Gittens was denied permanent residency at his girlfriend’s home, because of a loophole, he can stay there for up to two days at a time, but then must be gone for a day before returning.

Despite that, the dozens of residents who showed up to the meeting, were pleased with the board’s decision.

“I think it’s an excellent decision that they made,” says John Verstegen.

Verstegen lives on the same street as Gittens and has a 15-year-old daughter.

Gittens plead guilty to child enticement in February after attempting to meet up with a 15-year-old girl, he met online for sex.

That girl turned out to be an undercover officer.

“There’s a reason the ordinance is in place, especially around schools, it’s to protect children. And it is not to protect those who perpetrated crimes. Okay, so, there’s nothing else that could have been done. I can not see any justifiable way of letting him stay there,” says Verstegen.

The board agreed that Gittens’ current residence was not a place where he could easily succeed in treating his problem.

“You have to be in a place where, um you don’t have the distraction of people that are against you living where you’re at,” says Gerondale.

Neighborhood residents credit the online petition they filed, that by Tuesday night’s meeting had more than 350 signatures, in helping the board come to it’s decision to deny Gittens permanent residency in their neighborhood.

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