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Thomas Johnson Bound Over for Trial Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Mary Kay Wagner, after presiding over an evidentiary hearing, found probable cause that Thomas Johnson is a sexually violent person. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state's sexual predator law against Thomas Johnson on April 25, 2011.

 

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 1994 Johnson was convicted in Kenosha County of two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and one count of Incest with a Child. Johnson was sentenced to 90 months in the Wisconsin State Prison System with 10 years extended supervision. Johnson was discharged from the Department of Corrections on April 26, 2011. Johnson is now detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.

 

The State's petition alleges that Johnson suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Johnson 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. Johnson 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.