Justice Department to seek commitment for treatment for Kenosha County man

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Tuesday that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state’s sexual predator law against a Kenosha County man.

The petition was filed on April 25, in Kenosha County Circuit Court and alleges that Thomas Johnson. (DOB 10/26/1946) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled before the Honorable Mary Kay Wagner on May 6.

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 1994 Johnson was convicted in Kenosha County of two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and one count of incest with a child. Johnson was sentenced to 90 months in the Wisconsin State Prison System with 10 years extended supervision. Johnson was scheduled to be discharged from the Department of Corrections on April 26, 2011, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.

The state’s petition alleges that Johnson suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The petition also alleges that Johnson 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. Johnson 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.



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