Molester who clipped photos of girls released

(Published October. 26, 2006, 12:38 p.m.)

By Mike Heine/The Week

A convicted child molester who, while incarcerated, saved newspaper photos of high school girls from Walworth County and other areas was released Tuesday.

Curtis C. Rieben, 28, was ordered to stay at a halfway house in Stevens Point, said John Dipko, spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. He is not to leave the home without a chaperone and is on electronic monitoring, according to Dipko and Capt. Dana Nigbor of the Walworth County Sheriff's Department.

While jailed at the Racine Correctional Institution in Sturtevant, Rieben began collecting newspaper photos and making lists of teen girls from Lake Geneva, Walworth, Williams Bay, Delavan, Clinton, Edgerton and other southern Wisconsin communities. He had photos of 160 girls and possible phone numbers for about 100 of them, obtained with the help of a woman outside of prison, according to the sheriff's department.

Nigbor said she's was sending out letters to the parents of the girls this week, notifying them of Rieben's release and probation conditions.

Rieben was convicted of repeated second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2003 in Portage County. He was sentenced to three years in prison and nine years probation, which will end in October 2012, Dipko said.

As conditions of his release, Rieben cannot have a vehicle during his 120-day stay at the halfway house, Dipko said. He will then be transferred to a different temporary living quarters for 30 days, Nigbor said.

After that, Rieben will likely be released to standard sex-offender parole conditions and be responsible for his own housing in Portage County, Nigbor said.

He is not allowed to leave Portage County without permission, Nigbor said.

The letters to parents will include the latest picture of Rieben and inform them that if they see him in the area to notify police, Nigbor said.

Three searches of Rieben's cell at Racine Correctional Institution uncovered photographs and index cards with the girls' personal information on them. The majority of the girls were from the Lake Geneva and Williams Bay area, Nigbor said.

Rieben kept information indexed and color-coded, Detective Craig Weber said earlier. A certain color might give a girl a higher "rating" in Rieben's mind, Weber said.

Rieben first told Weber that he was interested in meeting the girls so he could contact them when he got out of prison. He later said he might have a sexual interest in some of the mid-teenage girls, Weber said.

After police interviewed Rieben in April, there have been no further findings of girls' information in his possession, Nigbor said.

Collecting such information is not illegal, just disturbing, Nigbor said.

Stalking requires repeated conduct that maintains visual or close proximity to a victim, approaching or confronting them personally or with another communications device, trespassing, photographing them, sending them materials or placing objects on their property, Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said earlier.

"He's done none of those," he said.

 

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