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Department of Justice Will Try Munoz
Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute
MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Richard Congdon has found probable cause to commit Hector Munoz to treatment under the state's sexual predator law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the state's petition to commit Munoz to treatment on January 26, 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 2003 Munoz was convicted in Waukesha County of Third Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and Exposing a Child to Harmful Materials. He was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison followed by eight years of extended supervision. Munoz was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on February 2, 2010, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility awaiting trial.
The state's petition alleges that Munoz suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Munoz 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. Munoz 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 Rebecca Weise represents the state in this case.