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Madison - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Judge John Vincent Finn acting for the Wood County Circuit Court has found probable cause to commit Roland Rupnick to treatment under the state's sexual predator law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the state's petition to commit Rupnick to treatment and probable cause was found following a hearing on June 11, 2008.


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 petition, Rupnick was most recently sentenced in 1996 in Wood County Circuit Court of first degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 years to a term of 10 years in prison consecutive to sentences previously imposed for other offenses. He has a previous conviction in Clark County for first degree sexual assault and Wood County for first degree sexual assault of a child. Mr. Rupnick had a scheduled release date of May 7, 2008.


The state's petition alleges that Rupnick suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Rupnick 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. Rupnick 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 Donald Latorraca represents the state in this case.