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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 an Adams County man. The petition, filed on August 15, 2014, in Adams County Circuit Court, alleges that Herbert E. Droste (12/26/1951) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled before the Honorable Charles A. Pollex on August 29, 2014.
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, on July 23, 1981, Droste was sentenced in case 80CF66 to not more than 20 years imprisonment consecutive to case 80CF65 for his conviction for Second-Degree Murder in Adams County. He also was sentenced on July 21, 1981, in case 80CF65 to 15 years imprisonment for his conviction for First-Degree Sexual Assault. An additional count of Second-Degree Sexual Assault was dismissed and read-in at sentencing in 80CF66. Droste was scheduled to be released from the Department of Corrections on August 19, 2014, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await further proceedings on the petition.
The state’s petition alleges that Droste suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Droste is dangerous as his mental disorders make 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. Droste 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 Richard J. Dufour represents the state in this case.