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The Wisconsin Department of Justice Seeks to Commit Scott D. Garetson for Treatment


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 Scott D. Garetson (DOB 04/21/1970) of Rock County.  The petition was filed on May 7, 2014, in Rock County Circuit Court, and alleges that Garetson is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment.  A probable cause hearing is scheduled before the Honorable Michael R. Fitzpatrick on May 28, 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, Garetson was convicted of one count of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Rock County Case No. 99-CF-271 on October 25, 1999.  On December 13, 1999, Garetson received 15 years confinement in the Wisconsin State Prison System.  Garetson is scheduled to be released from the Department of Corrections on May 14, 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 Garetson suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Garetson 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.  Garetson 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 David A. Hart represents the state in this case.