Lawmakers push to change law regarding accused sex offenders

RACINE (WITI) -- The man accused of attacking a young girl is allowed to live next door to her because of a loophole in the law. Now, the victim's dad and state lawmakers are trying to effect change.

Right now, there's a sign outside of 60-year-old Robert Lambkin's home that says "for sale." The Racine County District Attorney says Lambkin is not staying there -- but he was for some time and it caused a lot of emotional distress.

Jimi Street says his eight-year-old daughter is frightened to go outside; still scarred from allegedly being sexually assaulted by Lambkin.

"A lot of anxiety when she is outside, anxiety for other kids in my neighborhood," said Street.

According to the criminal complaint against Lambkin, the girl was in an alley between the two homes near Flett and Washington Ave. when Lambkin unzipped her jacket and inappropriately touched her on the chest. Lambkin later admitted to police he put his hands inside the child's blouse, but didn't think she noticed.

The little girl's terror did not end there.

"After his arrest he was released on bail the next day the problem is he lives right next door," said State Rep. Cory Mason.

To protect children like Street's daughter, state lawmakers proposed a piece of legislation called Isabella's Law.

"This bill contains common sense housing restrictions," said Mason. "Rep. Weatherston and I teamed up to change the law that says a judge cannot release someone on bail next door to the allege victim,  cannot be on the adjacent property and has to be at least 250 feet away."

State Representatives Mason and Thomas Weatherson don't want any victims living in fear and hope the bipartisan support will help make a change.

"We have support from the speaker so we feel this bill will hopefully be expressed though , we hope it will be we have several senators willing to sign on it to in we think  it will move very rapidly and hopefully be signed into law soon," said Mason.

Right now, Isabella's Law is being circulated for co-sponsors and should get a bill number sometime next week. Legislators are hoping it will be taken up during the floor session in June. Hopefully it will pass through the Assembly and the Senate, then ultimately its up to the governor to sign it.

As for Lambkin, he is due back in court May 3rd for the sexual assault case.