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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Racine County Circuit Court Judge Timothy D. Boyle, after presiding over an evidentiary hearing, found probable cause that James Hinkle, 37, is a sexually violent person. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state’s sexual predator law against James Hinkle on September 14, 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, in 1997 Hinkle was convicted in Racine County of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. Hinkle was sentenced to 12 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Hinkle was convicted again in 1999, in Racine County of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. Hinkle was sentenced to six more years consecutive to the previous sentence in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Hinkle was discharged from the Department of Corrections on September 18, 2012. Hinkle is now detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.
The state’s petition alleges that Hinkle suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Hinkle 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. Hinkle 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.