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Muskego Facebook Incident Raises Issues of What the Law Allows

While Muskego Police could not make any arrests after a complaint over a Facebook message, it's not enough for some.

I can't always predict how a story will be received, and a recent posting we reprinted from a Muskego Police Department weekly neighborhood watch newsletter brought up some interesting debate.

Some wanted to out the person responsible for sending a message to a 14 year old boy, which relayed sympathy to the loss of the boy's grandfather.  As it turns out, the man responsible outed himself, in response to what he felt was taken out of context.  (The comment was withdrawn.) 

While Jon Heil did not have to step forward, he did, and he is indeed a blogger on Patch, for technology issues like Windows upgrades and various products on the market to aid in making your PC better.

He talked with us and admitted he was charged in 2004 for having two photos on his computer, sent to him from what was supposed to be a juvenile, and also had responded to IMs sent from a boy, which turned out to be law enforcement. Heil maintains that he initially deleted comments because he felt they weren't appropriate, but when they persisted, decided to 'play along.' Horrible decision.

Since 2004, Heil has not committed any similar acts, which for five of those years afterward, law enforcement can monitor as they see fit. The contact was not random - he knew the family, and the decedent, well.

At the time we posted the article, we would not pursue identities as is protocol for ANY case where a suspect is not charged. In addition, had someone been charged, we also have to weigh whether revealing the identity of a suspect will also reveal the complainants.

I know this doesn't sit well with many, but it's the world we live in, and the laws we operate under. The intent of the release and our article was to underline a larger point: know who your kids know.

I don't plan on pulling a blog that has not crossed any ethical lines, and has provided helpful tips on computer maintenance.

I do plan on continuing to talk with my daughter about what's out there in the world and on line, as the article was asking us all to do. I recently went down her list of friends on Facebook, and if she couldn't instantly identify them and where she knew them from, they were out.  Happily, she scored perfectly, even with her numbers in the hundreds. Few were adults, and if they were, I knew them as well.

If there are concerns about what anyone on the sex offender registry can and can't do, it would require a law change. In addition, the registry also includes people who slept with an underage boyfriend or girlfriend, and are now married and have children with that same person.  I'm not saying this is the case here, but as it stands, changing the law will also have unintended consequences.

This is a good debate to have, and I hope people take a closer look at what the law's implications are.  I'm often torn in the cases where there has been no reoffense at what punishment is enough, and for how long.  Should people not be allowed to operate a business, or function in any capacity within a community...ever?

Again, I'm a parent.  The answers aren't easy, and I get the outrage. I am also a believer in controlling what you can, under the law. And as one reader said to me "it's always the threat you don't see that's the worst."

Asiseeit December 05, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Nice, resort to name calling. I never excused the patch, and I'm pretty certain the police do not share what they have or are in the process of doing with you. Complaints are public record. Investigations are not. From what I see they don't have much to investigate. He (the perp) is either in violation or he's not. Either way that's a state parol/probation issue. Looks like you need to step back, take a deep breath, and maybe spend half this energy talking to the people who actually can do something... His parole agent, or the state legislature if he doesn't have any of these restrictions.
Beth December 05, 2011 at 06:19 PM
It appears several people commenting are parents of children that have been contacted by Heil. In my personal opinion....a 37 year old man record or no record, shouldn't be contacting young boys. The fact that he has a criminal record involving child pornography, is extremely alarming. SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE. I do not blame these parents for their emotions nor their angry posts.... I would do the same. I see the frustration, first it appears the police have done "nothing", it would be nice to know why....and then the fact that the writer "outted" the victim is shameful. I find this story to be an outrageous act of irresponsible journalism as well as a failure on the part of the Muskego PD. The fact that more and more parents are coming to the table with stories about this man is just plain scary for Muskego and the surrounding areas. We can set all the blame aside - my question is what happens next? Heil is very aware now that the public is on to him. So he lays back and waits. What happens down the road when a child is hurt?
William December 14, 2011 at 09:45 PM
I am aware that those who commented previously as well as the editor receive updates if someone has posted a new comment, even on an older article. so I'm doing this to get the attention of the Patch, Ms. Konkel and those of you who care. Ms. Konkel, could you please respond as to why Jon Heil was allowed on December 9 to post a blog in the Patch about how to track your kids on Facebook. Seriously, do you really want a convicted child pornographer and stalker giving advice for tracking kids in your paper? He has taken down his own Facebook since attention was brought on him through these articles and his blog seems to mock those of us who actually care about his stalking children. Absolutely positively outrageous and pathetic.
NoToWalkersCronies December 14, 2011 at 10:53 PM
William: It is sickening! Especially in light of "windlake"'s comment above: "1. He would repair PC at peoples homes and then down load on a external hard drive all their teenagers chat and personal information from Myspace and Facebook. 2. He would go home and start communicating w/ kids that were on that teenagers personal information." So now the Patch, and Denise Konkel in particular, are thumbing their noses at the children and parents, and those who actually care, by allowing this person to mock them with his blog. I hope they are all enjoying their little chuckle. Remember, every action produces a reaction. ;)
NoToWalkersCronies December 15, 2011 at 05:45 AM
Wow, shockingly there are ***crickets*** from the editor and author of this appalling article, Denise Konkol, mother of children who live far from her beloved blogger.

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