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Sex offender to move to Belgium PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 17:36

Board cites nature of offense, noting it occurred decades ago, in waiving ordinance for Bonney

The Belgium Village Board last week waived its ordinance that doesn’t allow sex offenders to live in the municipality for a 45-year-old man.
Michael Bonney, who was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child 26 years ago, is now allowed to live in Belgium.
Bonney wrote a letter to the village and appeared at a special board meeting last week.
“The purpose of this ordinance is to protect children. Based on the number of years since your offense as well as the nature of it, I just don’t see you’re a threat in that regard,” Village President Vickie Boehnlein said.
“I need to come home, you guys,” Bonney told the board. “I miss being at home with my kids and my wife.”
Bonney said he works at Aisle Logic and Production Plastics in Saukville.
Bonney was 19 when he had sex with a 14-year-old.
Since then, Bonney has been convicted for operating while intoxicated seven times and has been in prison for most of the last 26 years. He was released on Dec. 5 after serving seven years and 10 months for his latest OWI, in which he slammed a truck into a house so hard it was knocked off of its foundation and had to be torn down.
“Thank God I was alone in the truck and I thank God above that nobody was in that house,” Bonney said.
“It’s come to an end, though,” he said of drinking, adding he has been sober for nearly eight years.
Bonney attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Mequon and said he would “have some real hard problems out here in society if it wasn’t for the fellowship of AA.”
Trustee Rose Sauers said she was concerned that the sexual assault was tied to alcohol.
“You offended in different ways, tied to alcohol,” she said. “I want to make sure you’re taking solid steps in your life to move away from what is obviously a negative trigger in life, which is the alcohol.”
Bonney said he will “continue praying to God.
“The last time in the prison system I got very spiritual,” he said.
Trustee Clem Gottsacker said he wasn’t concerned since the sexual assault occurred so long ago.
“Everybody needs a second chance,” he said.
Bonney said he lived in Hartford in the mid-1980s and, after being involved in a plane crash near Cascade, was in hospitals in Milwaukee and Marshfield. He was living on Pleasant Valley Road between Saukville and Grafton before his latest OWI.
In Belgium, Bonney will live with his wife, two stepchildren and newborn grandchild in a duplex at 902 Main St.
A few neighbors who attended the meeting had a mixed reaction.
“I get that it was 20 years ago. I wouldn’t be worried,” Dawn Egan said.
Her husband said he wasn’t comfortable with Bonney living so close.
“I’ve got three boys at home. I will have one extra eye open,” he said.
Neighbor Pat Wester has a son and said Bonney moving nearby is “very concerning.”
Trustee Gail Kowalkowski said she was concerned that Bonney’s probation agent didn’t attend the meeting to speak on his behalf.
Bonney’s wife, Pene, said she never had an issue with Michael spending time with her children.
“A lot of these men and women end up homeless because of these new ordinances in place everywhere,” she said.
“As a mother, before being his wife, I would rather have 10 sex offenders on either side of my house and a law and accounting and everybody know where they are versus not knowing where they are.”
Dawn Egan asked if letting Bonney live in the village sets a precedent.
Village Attorney Gerry Antoine said the village would have to take each request on a case-by-case basis.
The vote was 5-0. Josh Borden and Dale Pfeifer were absent.
Antoine drafted a written decision on waiving the ordinance for Bonney. Village Clerk Julie Lesar said she mailed Bonney the statement last week, which allows Bonney to start living in the village.

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