A convicted sex offender moved into a Greenfield neighborhood, but neighbors were never notified by police. That's because of a plea deal that kept the man from becoming a felon. Instead, 71-year-old Thomas Labisch was charged with a misdemeanor for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Labisch moved to Greenfield this summer, but it wasn't until Halloween sex offender patrols that neighbors really found out about his past.
According to a criminal complaint, Labisch was upstairs watching TV with a babysitter after an Easter party. That's when he put his hands down the girl's pants and up her shirt, going under her undergarments. Labisch was originally charged with first degree sexual assault, but that charge was reduced to three misdemeanor convictions, including fourth degree sexual assault.
Steve Koch lives near Labisch's home and says the charges and the story are disconcerting, and they would never have known anything if it weren't for the Halloween patrols. "We were out with our kids, trick or treating, and about an hour after trick or treat, the sheriff showed up, and all of a sudden they went into the house and we found out there was a sex offender across the street," Koch said.
According to FOX6's media partners at the Greenfield Patch, for a fourth degree sexual assault conviction, it is up to the court whether someone should be placed on the sex offender registry or not. The district attorney told the Patch she did not recommend Labisch be put on the registry.
However, neighbors say the lack of information is troubling, and aren't sure how much they should worry, especially with kids in the area.
FOX6 spoke with Labisch, but he declined to speak on camera. He says a lot of what he was charged with in the criminal complaint was "he said, she said." In terms of neighbors' concerns, Labisch said "I don't have anything to hide. Neighbors have nothing to worry about."