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Charles Weissinger Bound Over for Trial Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute


MENOMONIE - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Dunn County Circuit Court Judge William Stewart, Jr. after presiding over an evidentiary hearing found probable cause that Charles Weissinger, 77, is a sexually violent person. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the state's petition to commit Weissinger to treatment on October 13, 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 1997 Weissinger was convicted in Dunn County of Second Degree Sexual Assault/Unconscious Victim. Weissinger was sentenced to three years in the Wisconsin State Prison System concurrent with an eight year prison term on a conviction of Child Enticement/Sexual Contact in Pierce County. Weissinger was scheduled to be released from the Department of Corrections on October 18, 2010, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.


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