PRESS RELEASE: DOJ seeks to commit Smith to treatment - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

PRESS RELEASE: Department Of Justice seeks to commit John K. Smith, Jr. to treatment


WISCONSIN RAPIDS (PRESS RELEASE)--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 a Wood County man.

The petition was filed on February 11, 2011, in Wood County Circuit Court and alleges that John K. Smith, Jr. (DOB 09/23/1956) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. A probable cause hearing is scheduled before the Honorable James M. Mason on February 24, 2011.

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 1992 Smith was convicted in Wood County of 5 counts of First Degree Sexual Assault with additional counts of sexual assault committed in Dodge, Portage and Marathon Counties that were dismissed and considered at the time of sentencing. Smith was sentenced to 20 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Smith was scheduled to be discharged from the Department of Corrections on February 15, 2011, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.

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