Home » News » Clintonville News » Officers urge safety with sex offender in town

Officers urge safety with sex offender in town

Deer Creek man preyed on elderly women

By Scott Bellile

The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office urges Deer Creek residents to look out for one another, particularly their elderly women neighbors, as another violent sex offender is placed in the rural community.

“This situation is a little bit different than most,” Outagamie County Sgt. Sheldon Pedranzan said at a community notification meeting held at Deer Creek Town Hall Monday, June 10. “We traditionally deal with more child sex offenders and predators than anything else. So when I talk about some of the things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, I don’t mean avoid (protecting) the children, but this offender in general has more of the history with the elderly female population.”

This week Henry F. Pocan, 61, moves to W10418 State Highway 76, east of County Highway D. He will live alone for now but could get a housemate in the future.

His crime was burglarizing an elderly female stranger’s Appleton home and sexually assaulting her in 1981.

Pocan was convicted of second-degree sexual assault in Outagamie County and served time in prison before being granted parole.

While on parole, he made inappropriate contact with elderly women over the telephone, Pedranzan said. Pocan was sent back to prison.

Pocan petitioned to be placed in a secured treatment facility, Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, in 2002.

Officials at the meeting shared ideas for concerned residents who are looking to make a few changes for their personal safety.

Pedranzan suggested installing motion-sensor lights or cameras outside the home and keeping doors and garages locked at all hours of the day.

If going on a walk, Pedranzan recommends people carry a phone on them that has the sheriff’s office number, which is 920-832-5605.

“If something doesn’t seem right, give us a call right away,” Pedranzan said. “The worst that happens is we go and make contact … we figure out it’s nothing and then we move on.”

When people are home alone at night, having lights on in two different rooms may deter prowlers, said Valerie Santana, registry specialist for the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry.

Keeping car keys on the nightstand can make it easy to sound a car alarm from bed if there is a suspicious noise outside overnight, Santana said.

If a family member is leaving the house, Santana encourages people to ask where they are going, with whom and for how long.

For family living under a different roof, they can text those details whenever they head out, which Santana said her 93-year-old father does for her.

“An educated public is the public we need,” Outagamie County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nate Borman said. “We need you all to be aware of what’s going on around you.”

“I don’t want you to live in fear, but I also want you to be prepared and ready for anything that could happen,” Pedranzan said. “So make sure that your family members are safe.”

People attending the meeting were visibly upset about the town’s fourth sex offender placement in a year – Michael R. Schaar and Aristole Farmer currently live 5 miles from Pocan at W9442 Schweitzer Road – and asked questions such as why sex offenders are not placed in areas with higher police presence and how to lobby for chemical castration.

Ultimately the burden lies with the sex offender to be a responsible citizen, not with the neighbors to change their lifestyles.

Offenders on supervised release are tracked by GPS and must abide by the Department of Health Services’ 72 rules.

During their first year, they receive daily unscheduled visits from contracted monitors.

They cannot walk out the door – even to their yard – without their monitor, according to Mick Chase, supervised release contract specialist for the DHS.

If the offender obeys the rules, then after one year the community reintegration team may begin loosening their restrictions, like allowing a family member or friend to serve as a supervisor out in public, Chase said.

“But keep in mind that just because some supervision may get scaled back doesn’t mean it can’t be put back into place,” Chase said.

If the offender’s behavior regresses further, their supervised release is revoked and they are sent back to Sand Ridge, Chase said.

Scroll to Top