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Court Finds State Has Probable Cause To Commit Waggoner To Treatment


Waggoner Will Be Tried Under State's Sexually Violent Person Statute


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 a Monroe County man.


The petition was filed on March 25, 2009 in Monroe County Circuit Court and alleges that Christopher Waggoner (DOB  09/9/1965) is a sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. The Hon. Michael McAlpine entered an order finding probable cause on the petition and detaining Waggoner pending further proceedings in this matter.   A probable cause hearing is scheduled for April 13, 2009, before Judge McAlpine.


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 and Family Services for control, care, and treatment until the person is no longer considered sexually violent.


According to the DOJ petition, Christopher Waggoner was convicted of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Monroe County in 1995 and was sentenced to 20 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Waggoner was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on March 31, 2009, but will be detained pursuant to court order at a Department of Health Services (DHS) facility awaiting trial.


The state's petition alleges that Waggoner suffers from mental conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Waggoner 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.  Waggoner 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 Barbara Oswald represents the state in this case.