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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Dane County Circuit Court Judge Ellen K. Berz, after presiding over an evidentiary hearing, found probable cause that Anthony Jones, 54, is a sexually violent person. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state’s sexual predator law against Jones on August 9, 2013.
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, Jones was convicted of three counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault/Use of Force with increased penalty for Habitual Criminality in Dane County on November 29, 1993. Jones was sentenced to 15 years probation, sentence withheld. Following the revocation of his probation, Jones was sentenced to 10 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System on Count One, consecutive to his parole revocation in another case, and 10 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System on Count Two and Count Three, concurrent, on November 14, 2001. Jones was released from the Department of Corrections on August 13, 2013, and is now detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.
The state’s petition alleges that Jones suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Jones 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. Jones 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 R. Weise represents the state in this case.