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Court Finds Probable Cause to Commit James Thorin as a Sexually Violent Person


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Howard W. Cameron, Jr. has found probable cause to commit James Thorin to treatment under the state's sexual predator law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the state's petition to commit Thorin to treatment on July 1, 2009. 


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, James Thorin was convicted of Kidnapping and Burglary in St. Croix County in 1983 and reconvicted in 1984, and was sentenced to 20 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System.  These charges were sexually violent offenses because they were sexually motivated.  Thorin was scheduled for release from the Department of Corrections on July 14, 2009, but will be detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition.


The state's petition alleges that Thorin suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Thorin 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 Thorin 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 Donald Latorraca represents the state in this case.