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Salentine Will Be Tried Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Waukesha County Circuit Court has found probable cause to commit Brian Salentine to treatment under the state's sexual predator law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the state's petition to commit Salentine to treatment on January 23, 2008, and probable cause was found on April 17, 2008 at a hearing before Judge Ralph Ramirez.


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.


Salentine was most recently convicted in 1994 in Waukesha County criminal court of the sexual assault of his six-year-old niece who he was babysitting. Salentine was ordered to serve eight years in prison consecutive to ten years on a Burglary conviction. Salentine was scheduled to be discharged from the Department of Corrections custody on February 3, 2008. Upon a recommendation from the Department of Corrections, the Department of Justice reviewed Salentine's case and filed a petition seeking to commit him as a sexually violent person.


The state's petition alleges that Brian Salentine suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Salentine 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 a finding of probable cause only allows the state's case to move forward. Salentine is legally presumed not to be a sexually violent person unless and until the state proves him to be a sexually violent person at a trial.


Assistant Attorney General Dennis Krueger represents the state in this case.