Registered sex offender to serve jail time
Roberts resident Gerald Heavner will spend a year in St. Croix County Jail and five years on probation for child enticement.
On Friday, Jan. 16, Heavner pleaded no contest to one count of child enticement in St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell's courtroom. Due to an arranged plea bargain, another count of abduction of child-detaining was dismissed. By law, Heavner has 20 days to appeal the decision.
Charges stem from an August 2008 incident in Roberts. According to the police report, Heavner, 40, asked an 8-year-old girl to go for a ride with him "so they could talk" on Aug. 1. The girl refused, ran to her house and Heavner drove away. After learning of the incident from her daughter and knowing Heavner's registered sex offender status, the girl's mother contacted the Roberts Police Department.
Her mother told officers that her daughter was visibly afraid and hides in their home every time she sees Heavner's vehicles. Heavner was then arrested and has been held at St. Croix County Jail since Aug. 6. He will get credit for time served.
Heavner has been a registered sex offender since entering a guilty/no contest plea to charges of first degree sexual assault of a child in March 1999. Heavner was still on probation for that conviction during the recent incident.
During Friday's proceedings, the girl's mother declined to make a formal statement to the court, but instead gave the judge a sealed outpatient evaluation from one of her daughter's counseling sessions.
"Everything that needs to be said is in that paper," she explained.
She also told the judge that a letter of apology from Heavner wouldn't be needed because her daughter is too afraid of him.
In his statement to the court, Heavner said he's trying to change. He's been taking classes, including GED courses and anger management, while incarcerated.
"I'm trying to do better for myself and better for everyone else," he told the courtroom. He said he understands why people are upset with his behavior.
Judge Lundell sternly told Heavner that any reoffense will have very serious consequences.
"This is your last opportunity to prove to everyone you're rehabilitated," Lundell told Heavner. "If a case comes back before me because you've been revoked because you've done something else, you're going away for as long as I can put you away."
Heavner is not allowed within 100 feet of the girl's residence after being released. Heavner said he's hoping to move into the country as soon as he can arrange it. The Department of Probation and Parole will have input as to where he can live.
Heavner will be a registered sex offender for life. The sex offender registry and more detailed information about sex offenders is available to the public at http://offender.doc.state.wi.us/public/home.jsp.