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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that on May 14, 2009, Jonathan Phillips, a Columbia County resident, age 27, was found to be a sexually violent person under Wisconsin's civil commitment law (Chapter 980, Wis. Stats.) following a threeâ€‘day jury trial in Portage. Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Daniel S. George presided over the case and ordered Phillips to be returned to the Wisconsin Resource Center in Winnebago, Wisconsin.
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 more likely than not that 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.
As a minor, Phillips was adjudicated delinquent on three occasions. Phillips admitted to engaging in sexual contact when he was 10 years old with a 4 and 5â€‘yearâ€‘old boy, one of which was Phillips' younger brother. That same year Phillips slapped and assaulted a 6â€‘yearâ€‘old boy about eight times. At 12 years of age, Phillips was placed on one year juvenile probation after he grabbed a 10â€‘yearâ€‘old girl who was walking down the street and pushed her into some bushes and fondled her. At 17 years of age, Phillips was convicted of one count of first degree sexual assault of a child with two other counts of first degree sexual assault of a child and one count of repeated sexual assault of the same child considered at sentencing. The assaults involved Phillips having sexual contact with his 4â€‘yearâ€‘old niece every day for two weeks. Phillips was sentenced to eight years prison. Phillip was scheduled to be released on July 23, 2007. Upon a recommendation from the Department of Corrections, the Department of Justice reviewed Phillips' case and filed a petition on July 16, 2007, seeking to commit him as a sexually violent person.
Phillips has now been committed to the custody of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for care and control and is expected to be housed at the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, Wisconsin, for the purpose of receiving treatment.
Assistant Attorney General Dennis Krueger represented the state in this trial.