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WI DOJ Seeks to Commit Scott Schmidt to Treatment


  Schmidt Will  Be Tried Under States Sexually Violent Person Statute


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the states sexual predator law against a Walworth County man. 


The petition was filed on July 1, 2009, in Walworth County Circuit Court and alleged that Scott Schmidt (DOB 03/13/1963) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment.  A probable cause hearing before Judge Robert J. Kennedy will take place on July 16, 2009, at 2:00 P.M. 


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


According to the DOJ petition, in 1991 Schmidt was convicted in Walworth County of four counts of First Degree Sexual Assault, one count of Burglary, one count of False Imprisonment, and one count of Intimidation of a Witness.  He was sentenced to a total of twenty years in prison.  Schmidt was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on July 7, 2009, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility awaiting trial. 


The states petition alleges that Schmidt suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Schmidt is dangerous as his mental disorder makes 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.  Schmidt 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 Erik Peterson represents the state in this case.