A sex offender will be released in the Ridgeland area on Tuesday, Feb. 23, according to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department.
Joseph Janota will be residing at 1451 First Ave., rural Ridgeland.
Janota was convicted of one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child in 2000 and two counts repeated sexual assault of same child, once in 1991 and once in 2000.
Conditions of Janota’s supervision include:
• No unsupervised contact with individuals under the age of 18
• Not to engage in any relationships without prior agent approval
• Prohibited from being in places frequented by children
• Lifetime GPS monitoring
On Oct. 13, 1999, Janota was sentenced to life in prison without parole after a jury found him guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
A 9-year-old girl told authorities that Janota routinely had sexual contact with her in 1999 at a residence in Dallas.
He had a prior conviction of first-degree sexual assault of a child in Rusk County in 1991.
On Jan. 21, 2000, the Court of Appeals handed down a decision and order dismissing Janota’s life sentence and returned the case to Barron County. Because of the appellate court rulings and defense motions, then-Assistant District Attorney James Babbitt dropped the penalty enhancer in exchange for Janota’s guilty pleas under an agreement reached Sept. 29.
Judge James Eaton vacated the life sentence, based on the recommendation of Babbitt and defense attorney Harry Hertel of Eau Claire.
Eaton then sentenced Janota to 35 years in prison, with credit for 446 days served, and also placed Janota on 40 years probation, concurrent with the prison sentence.
Janota became eligible for parole in 2017 while imprisoned at Racine Correctional Institution and he has now been paroled.
A press release from the sheriff’s department states, “His criminal history places him in a classification level, which reflects the potential to re-offend. This sex offender has served the sentence imposed on him by the courts. He is not wanted by law enforcement at this time. This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.”
Janota, 65, is 5’9’’ and 218 pounds. He has blue eyes and gray hair.