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Communities not using 'Amie's Law' on sex offenders

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond News
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New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

It's been two years since Amie's Law took effect in Wisconsin.

Police have only used it eight times to notify neighborhoods about new residents who committed sex crimes when they were juveniles.

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Until 2005, police could only inform people about sex offenders who committed their crimes as adults.

That changed after Amie Zyla, 19, of Waukesha was molested by a 23-year-old man who did time for sex crimes as a child.

But the neighbors never knew about his past because his juvenile records were sealed.

Zyla got both state and federal lawmakers to pass measures allowing public notifications for those types of offenders.

But police say there are problems with the state law. For one thing, juvenile offenders are not on the state's Internet sex offender registry. That's something state officials are working to change.

In the meantime, some police officials say they're on shaky ground notifying the public of cases that remain sealed.

Mike Babe, Waukesha police captain, says the law is well intentioned but it would be better if the state would set more specific guidelines.

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