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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a petition under the state's sexual predator law against a Barron County man.
The petition was filed earlier this month in Barron County Circuit Court and alleged that Eric L. Fankhauser (DOB January 7, 1986) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for March 8, 2007, before Judge Edward R. Brunner.
Chapter 980 of the Wisconsin Statues relates to the control, care and treatment of sexually violent persons. Under Wisconsin law, a person may be subject to a civil commitment when the person has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, has a mental disorder, and is dangerous to others because the mental disorder makes it likely he or she will commit further acts of sexual violence. A civil commitment is defined in Wisconsin law as commitment to the custody and care of the Department of Health and Family Services for control, care and treatment until the person is no longer considered sexually violent.
According to the DOJ petition, Fankhauser was convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Barron County in 2003 and was sentenced to a three year term of initial confinement followed by a seven year term of extended supervision. Fankhauser is scheduled for release from the Racine Correctional Institution on February 27, 2007.
The state's petition alleges that Fankhauser suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Fankhauser is dangerous as his mental disorders make it likely that he will engage in future acts of sexual violence.
Assistant Attorney General Donald V. Latorraca represents the state in this case.