STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- A child sex offender, whose presence in a Stoughton nursing home and near a school has prompted concern, committed past crimes while in a wheelchair.
Records and interviews show William Swadley grabbed, kissed in a sexual way, and groped a 12-year-old girl as she helped him get his wheelchair through a door in Mazomanie in 1992.
Ruth Klassy was one of the jurors who convicted Swadley of felony child enticement.
"I think the thing that bothered me about it, because he was in a wheelchair, it seems to me he used that to get the girl to befriend him and to help him, and then used it in a horrible way."
Swadley also has a 1990 first degree sex assault conviction involving a child.
In 1992, a state Department of Corrections official testified during a sentencing hearing Swadley was not a pedophile. But the prosecutor argued Swadley was in denial over his actions and needed to be locked up. A judge gave Swadley a five year prison sentence.
Swadley's attorney at trial, Robert Burke told WKOW27 News the disabled man was a magnet for neighborhood children, and possibly a target for accusations.
"This was somebody who vehemently denied there was anything inappropriate and was ashamed of having to live with the conviction."
Burke said Swadley's neighbors in Stoughton, his fellow nursing home residents and the nearby school community should not be concerned about Swadley posing a risk.
But Klassy said Swadley's admission to a nursing facility next door to a grade school should be questioned.
"It would seem they could find a facility that didn't have proximity to children."
Swadley, 58, is at Nazareth House on Stoughton's Jackson street, next to St. Ann catholic church and school. Representatives of Nazareth House have declined comment. School children have been barred from making class field trips to the facility.
Swadley's mother told WKOW27 News Swadley is recovering from leg surgery.
Online reporting by Tony Galli.
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