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EAU CLAIRE - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Jeffrey Bonnin, 38, was committed in Eau Claire County Circuit Court under the state's sexually violent person law.
Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge Paul J. Lenz ordered Bonnin's commitment after Bonnin stipulated to allegations that he met criteria for commitment under Wisconsin's civil commitment law (Chapter 980, Wis. Stats.) following jury selection and opening statements by the state.
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 (DHS) for control, care, and treatment until the person is no longer considered sexually violent.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice petition, Jeffrey Bonnin was convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Eau Claire County in 1995 and was sentenced to ten years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Bonnin was scheduled for release from the Columbia Correctional Institution on May 15, 2007. After the commitment petition was filed by the state he was instead transferred to secure custody in a Department of Health Services institution while awaiting resolution of the court proceedings.
Bonnin has now been committed to the custody of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for the purpose of sex offender treatment, care and control.
Assistant Attorney General Eric Défort represented the state in this case.