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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a petition under the state’s sexual predator law against a Lafayette County man. The petition was filed on February 14, 2014, in Lafayette County Circuit Court and alleges that Ryan J. Larson (DOB 04/20/1979) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled before the Honorable William D. Johnston on February 21, 2014, at 1:30 pm in Lafayette County.
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, Larson was convicted of First Degree Sexual Assault While Using a Dangerous Weapon and False Imprisonment in Lafayette County Circuit Court on March 3, 2004. On May 27, 2004, Larson was sentenced to serve a nine-year term of initial confinement and an eleven-year term of extended supervision with respect to sexual assault charge and a one-year term of imprisonment followed by a period of four years of extended supervision with respect to the false imprisonment charge. Larson is scheduled to be released from the Department of Corrections on February 18, 2014, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.
The state’s petition alleges that Larson suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Larson 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. Larson 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 Michael G. Schaefer represents the state in this case.