North Branch neighbor posts 'Sex Offenders Live Here' sign to warn others

The Chisago County Sheriff's Office held a community meeting on Tuesday evening at North Branch Area High School in light of a recent Level 3 sex offender moving in, and one neighbor has already proceeded to post a sign that read "Registered Sex Offenders Live Here." In return, it has apparently been vandalized.

In 1992, Thomas Stanton, 49, was convicted for brutally assaulting and raping a 44-year-old Stacy, Minn. woman. The two did not know each other. Last week, he moved into a house on the corner of County Road 14 and Lang Avenue in Chisago Lake Township across the street from families with children and a school bus stop. Sheriff's deputies handed out fliers notifying the community, a routine move whenever a Level 3 sex offender moves in. They're considered the highest risk. He now lives with a few other sex offenders.

On Monday, the man who lives next door put up the sign for all to see. He wanted to remain anonymous, but says this is the best way to hold his new neighbor accountable.

According to the Community Notification Act, anyone threatening, harassing, or intimidating a registered sex offender could be charged with a crime. So far, this move doesn't reach harassment level, but Chisago County sheriff's officials are investigating the vandalism. Meanwhile, Stanton will be monitored by deputies and Department of Corrections agents several times a week for four more years. His neighbors say they'll also be watching.

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