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MADISON Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Waukesha County Circuit Court has found probable cause to commit Eugene W. Vahlenkamp, age 71, to treatment under the states sexual predator law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed the states petition to commit Vahlenkamp to treatment and probable cause was found on June 2, 2008, at a hearing before Judge J. Mac Davis.
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 Department of Justices petition, on June 3, 1991, Vahlenkamp was convicted in Waukesha County of six counts of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and one count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. Vahlenkamp was sentenced to a 10 year sentence in the Wisconsin state prison system consecutive to a 10 year sentence imposed in Federal District Court for three counts of Transportation of Minors in Interstate Commerce with the Intent to Engage in Sexual Activity. Vahlenkamp was scheduled to be discharged from the custody of the Department of Corrections on April 22, 2008. Upon a recommendation from the Department of Corrections, the Department of Justice reviewed Vahlenkamps case and filed a petition seeking to commit him as a sexually violent person. The petition argues that Vahlenkamp suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Vahlenkamp 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 states case to move forward. Vahlenkamp is presumed not to be a sexually violent person unless and until proven in judicial proceedings to be a sexually violent person. The state bears the burden of proof at trial.
Assistant Attorney General Dennis R. Krueger is representing the state.