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LA CROSSE - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Elliott M. Levine after presiding over an evidentiary hearing on January 19, 2011 found probable cause that Homer Perren, Jr., 50, is a sexually violent person. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state's sexual predator law against Homer Perren, Jr. on December 21, 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 2001 Perren was convicted in La Crosse County of Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child 16 or Under. Perren was sentenced to ten years in the Wisconsin State Prison System followed by five years of extended supervision. Perren was scheduled to be discharged from the Department of Corrections on December 28, 2010, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.
The state's petition alleges that Perren suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Perren 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. Perren 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.