Weather Forecast


Sheriff: Sex offender to be living out of SUV in Roberts

Gerald Heavner (submitted photo)

A sex offender released from prison on Tuesday, originally set to move to Roberts, will be living out of his vehicle.

St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts said Gerald L. Heavner, 48, informed authorities he will be living in the “Roberts area” out of a black 2006 Chevrolet Equinox.

Shilts said Heavner was originally slated to be living at a Burr Street apartment in Roberts, but that the landlord later determined Heavner was never on the lease.

That makes him homeless for now. Shilts said laws do not prohibit convicted sex offenders from having no address. However, he noted, that circumstance means sheriff’s office can’t hold a community notification meeting since there is no specific address where Heavner will be staying.

The scenario represents a worrisome situation for Shilts.

“I have many concerns on how successful this individual will be on the outside,” the sheriff said. “I don’t often get this level of concern.”

According to St. Croix County criminal court records, Heavner was sentenced to eight years in prison in July 2012, but entered with credit for three years and 178 days served.

He was convicted of child enticement related to sexual contact in that case. One count of child abduction was dismissed. According to the charges, Heavner attempted to entice a 7-year-old child to ride in his car in August 2008.

He had been previously convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in 1999. He was on parole for the 1999 case at the time of the 2008 offense.

Terms of Heavner’s release could prevent him from being within certain distances from schools or parks, Shilts said.

“At this point, he is compliant,” the sheriff said Wednesday.

According to the original release announcing his prison release, Heavner could be tracked by Department of Corrections officials by GPS.

Shilts said he’s made all of his deputies aware of the situation and has spread the word to other agencies in St. Croix County.

“They are aware of Mr. Heavner and his vehicle, and his restrictions,” Shilts said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072