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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Charles Weissinger (DOB 04/28/1933) was found to be a sexually violent person in Dunn County Circuit Court under Wisconsin's civil commitment law (Chapter 980 of the Wisconsin Statutes) following a trial to the Court in the City of Menomonie.
Dunn County Circuit Court Judge William Stewart, Jr., presided over the case. After finding that Weissinger is a sexually violent person, the Court entered an order committing Weissinger for treatment.
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 that predisposes the person to engage in acts of sexual violence, and is dangerous to others because the mental disorder makes it more likely than not that 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.
At trial, evidence was presented that Weissinger was convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in 1994, Child Enticement - Sexual Contact in 1996, and Second Degree Sexual Assault of an Unconscious Victim in 1997.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that Weissinger has frequently admitted to his ongoing sexual interest in children and has sexually assaulted a child while he was serving a sentence for a prior sex assault of a child. Further, the evidence showed that Weissinger admitted to having an ongoing sexual interest in children as recently as July 29, 2011, in his conversation with a psychological evaluator. At trial, psychological evaluators from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Health Services testified that Weissinger suffers from mental disorders that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The evaluators also testified that Weissinger is dangerous as his mental disorders make it more likely than not that he will again engage in future acts of sexual violence.
Weissinger was scheduled to be released from the Department of Corrections on October 18, 2010, from the sentences for his sex assault convictions. After the commitment petition was filed by the state, he was instead transferred to secure custody in a Department of Health Services institution while awaiting resolution of the court proceedings.
Assistant Attorney General Eric Défort represented the State in this case.