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Announces Chapter 980 Commitment of Westby to Treatment


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 Dane County man.


The petition was filed on March 5, 2007, in Dane County Circuit Court and alleged that Gregory Westby, 45, is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for March 23, 2007, before Judge David T. Flanagan III.


Chapter 980 of the Wisconsin Statutes 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, Gregory Westby was convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Dane County in 1997 and was sentenced to ten years in the Wisconsin State Prisons System. Westby was scheduled for release from the Columbia Correctional Institution on March 9, 2007, but will be detained at a Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) facility pending further hearings.


The state's petition alleges that Gregory Westby suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Gregory Westby is dangerous as his mental disorders make it likely that he will engage in future acts of sexual violence. A petition is only an allegation, and Westby is legally presumed not to be a sexually violent person unless and until proven to be a sexually violent person.


Assistant Attorney General Gary Freyberg represents the state in this case.