Media Center

Department of Justice Seeks to Commit Roy Burnam to Treatment


Burnam Will Be Tried Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute


WAUKESHA - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Waukesha County Circuit Court has found probable cause to commit Roy Burnam, age 45, to treatment under the state's sexual predator law.  The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed the state's petition to commit Burnam to treatment and probable cause was found on July 9, 2010, at a hearing before Judge J. Mac Davis. Judge Davis scheduled the matter for a status conference on July 23, 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 Burnam was convicted in Waukesha County of Third Degree Sexual Assault and Child Enticement.  He was sentenced to a total of twelve years in prison followed by extended supervision.  Burnam was scheduled to be discharged from the Department of Corrections on April 28, 2010, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility awaiting trial.


The state's petition alleges that Burnam suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Burnam 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.  Burnam 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 Dennis Krueger represents the state in this case.