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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Commitment of James Thorin to Treatment Under Chapter 980


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that James Thorin was committed January, 13, 2012, in St. Croix County Circuit Court under Wisconsin's civil commitment law (Chapter 980, Wis. Stats.) after a jury trial before Judge Howard W. Cameron, Jr. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the State's petition to commit Thorin to treatment on July 1, 2009.


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, James Thorin of Brainerd, MN, was convicted of Kidnapping and Burglary in St. Croix County in 1983 and reconvicted in 1984, and was sentenced to 20 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. These charges were sexually violent offenses because they were sexually motivated. Thorin was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on July 14, 2009, but was detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.


The State's petition alleged that Thorin suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleged that Thorin is dangerous as his mental disorder makes it likely that he will engage in future acts of sexual violence.


In addition to Thorin's convictions for the Wisconsin offenses, he also was sentenced on February 29, 2000, on charges of 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct; 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct ; and 5th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct before the district court for Crow Wing County, MN.


Assistant Attorney General Donald Latorraca represented the State of Wisconsin in this case.