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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan B. Colas has found probable cause to commit Christopher Riddle to treatment under the state's sexual predator law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the state's petition to commit Riddle to treatment on August 26, 2009.
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, Christopher Riddle was convicted of Sex with a Child age 16 or older and Child Enticement Exposing a Sex Organ in Dane County in 2007. Riddle was also convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Dane County in 1994. Riddle was convicted of 4 counts of Third Degree Sexual Assault in Washington County in 1995. Riddle was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on September 1, 2009, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.
The state's petition alleges that Riddle suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Riddle 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 Riddle 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 Rebecca Weise represents the state in this case.