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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state's sexual predator law against a La Crosse County man.
The petition was filed on January 12, 2012, in LaCrosse County Circuit Court and alleges that Steve Schuelke (DOB 04/15/1976) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled before the Honorable Dale Pasell on January 25, 2012.
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, Schuelke was convicted of one count of Third Degree Sexual Assault, in violation of Wis. Stat. §940.225(3) in La Crosse County Case No.06-CF-531 on October 20, 2006. This offense is a sexually violent offense as defined in Wis. Stat. §980.01(6)(a) and (c). On October20, 2006, respondent received two years confinement in the Wisconsin State Prison System and five years extended supervision for his conviction in CaseNo.06-CF-531. This sentence was ordered to be served consecutively to his sentence in LaCrosse County Case No. 03-CF-442.
The state's petition alleges that Schuelke suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Schuelke 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. Schuelke 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 Winn Collins represents the state in this case.