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Wisconsin Department Of Justice Files Petition Under Chapter 980 To Commit Jeffery Bonnin To Treatment


MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a petition under the state's sexual predator law against an Eau Claire County man. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said the petition was filed on May 11, 2007, in Eau Claire County Circuit Court, and alleged that Jeffrey Bonnin (DOB February 23, 1972) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A finding of probable cause was found on May 21, 2007, at a hearing before Judge Paul J. Lenz.


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 (DHFS) for control, care, and treatment until the person is no longer considered sexually violent.


According to the DOJ petition, Jeffrey Bonnin was convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Eau Claire County in 1995 and was sentenced to ten years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Bonnin was scheduled for release from the Columbia Correctional Institution on May 15, 2007, but will be detained at a DHFS facility awaiting trial.


The state's petition alleges that Jeffrey Bonnin suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Bonnin 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 Jeffrey Bonnin is legally presumed not to be a sexually violent person unless and until proven to be a sexually violent person.


Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Gabrysiak will represent the state in this case.