Media Center

Court Finds Probable Cause to Commit Randy Poff as a Sexually Violent Person


Department of Justice Will Try Poff Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute


LA CROSSE - 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 La Crosse County man.


The petition was filed on July 2, 2010 in La Crosse County Circuit Court and alleged that Randy Poff (DOB: 8/15/1970) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment.  A probable cause hearing is scheduled for July 21, 2010, before Judge Ramona Gonzalez.


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, Randy Poff was convicted of two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault as a Repeater in La Crosse County in 1991, and was sentenced on each count to 12 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System.  Poff was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on July 13, 2010, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.


The state's petition alleges that Poff suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Poff is dangerous as his mental disorders make it likely that he will engage in future acts of sexual violence.  A petition is only an allegation and Poff 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 Eric Defort represents the state in this case.