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The Wisconsin Department of Justice Seeks to Commit Henry B. Gryer for Treatment

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Mary Kay Wagner, after presiding over an evidentiary hearing, found probable cause that Henry B. Gryer, 42, is a sexually violent person.  The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the state’s sexual predator law against Gryer on October 24, 2013.


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, Gryer was convicted of one count of Third Degree Sexual Assault in Kenosha County on March 29, 2010.  On December 3, 2010, Gryer was sentenced to five years confinement in the Wisconsin State Prison System and five years extended supervision.  Gryer was released from the Department of Corrections on October 29, 2013, and is now detained at a Department of Health Services facility to await trial on the petition. 


The state’s petition alleges that Gryer suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence.  The petition also alleges that Gryer 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.  Gryer 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 R. Weise represents the state in this case.