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Dane County Commits James Birkett to Treatment Under Chapter 980


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that James Birkett, age 51, a Dane County resident, was found to be a sexually violent person under Wisconsin's civil commitment law (Chapter 980, Wis. Stats.) following a two-day jury trial in Madison.  Dane County Circuit Court Judge Amy Smith presided over the case. 


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, James Birkett was convicted of Attempted Second Degree Sexual Assault in Dane County in 1991 and was sentenced to 11 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System.  Birkett was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on April 14, 2009. 


Mr. Birkett has now been committed to the custody of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for care and control and is expected to be housed at the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center for the purpose of receiving treatment. 


Assistant Attorney General David Wambach represented the state in this case.