Convicted sex offender released

MIKE DONOGHUE
Correspondent

 A state judge has agreed to allow a convicted sex offender to live in Charlotte while he tries to resolve new criminal charges for aggravated sexual assault and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Vermont Superior Court records show.

Kerry J. Schunk, 34, was told he could live with his in-laws on Ethan Allen Highway (U.S. 7) in Charlotte while on pre-trial release for the two new charges.

The court initially ordered Schunk in early March held without bail at a state prison in St. Albans, but a month later Judge Kevin Griffin agreed to a new motion to release the defendant on conditions, including a nightly curfew of  8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  He also must stay away from the female victim.

Those conditions were modified last Friday when the defense and prosecution agreed the court-imposed nightly curfew could be extended to a half hour after his work shift ends at Five Guys Restaurant on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, records show.

The restaurant’s general manager wrote a letter asking that Schunk be allowed to work the late shift and the court agreed with the joint stipulation as long as defendant travels directly to the Charlotte residence after work. 

Schunk has convictions in 2003 for sexual assault with a victim under 16 and prohibited acts, the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations (CUSI) reported. 

South Burlington Detective Cassandra Ellison, who is assigned to CUSI, began a new investigation into Schunk following a March 9 complaint in Burlington. By the following day, Ellison had enough evidence to arrest Schunk, who was living in Burlington at the time, CUSI said in a news release.

CUSI said officers also conducted a court-approved search at his residence on Ward Street.

Schunk has pleaded not guilty in superior court to the two new charges filed by Deputy State’s Attorney Dana M. DiSano.  Schunk is due back in court Aug. 13 for a status conference in his case.  

During a bail hearing April 8 the defense argued that Schunk has lived in Vermont since he was 9 years old, that his partner and child live here and he has a strong work history. The defense said there were conditions that would ensure his appearance.   

Schunk is one of four people living in Charlotte and listed on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry. He and two others from Charlotte are listed as “unrated – presumed high risk.” The registry notes he is no longer under the supervision of the state probation office.

Court records show the Vermont Probation office discharged Schunk from supervision in 2007 and that he had only one known violation of probation charge.

Aggravated sexual assault is punishable by 10 years to life in prison and a fine up to $50,000, CUSI said.  CUSI said furnishing alcohol to a minor is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a fine between $500 and $2,000.

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