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DOJ Seeks to Commit Hershel Stanley to Treatment


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


The petition was filed on January 6, 2010, in Sauk County Circuit Court and alleged that Hershel Stanley (DOB 11/14/1966) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment.  A probable cause hearing before Judge Patrick Taggart is scheduled for January 19, 2010. 


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 1998 Stanley was convicted in Sauk County of two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.  Stanley's sentence on count one was six years in prison and on count two he was sentenced to five years in prison imposed and stayed and placed on eight years probation.  Stanley was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on January 7, 2010, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility awaiting trial. 


The state's petition alleges that Stanley suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Stanley 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 state's case to move forward.  Stanley 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.