AG Schimel Seeks to Commit Convicted Sexual Predator and Murderer Gerald M. Turner to Treatment under Chapter 980

Jan 26 2018

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a petition to commit Gerald M. Turner, Jr. to a civil commitment under Chapter 980.


Turner was convicted on February 4, 1975 in Fond du Lac County of one count of Sexual Morality, one count of Indecent Liberties with a Child Under Age 16 years, one count of Abnormal Sexual Perversion, and one count of Second Degree Murder. Turner was sentenced to a 38-year sentence in the Wisconsin State Prisons system. Turner was released in 1992 on intensive high risk community supervision, but then returned to prison in 1992 following a court decision challenging calculation of time served. Turner was again released to parole in 1998, but parole was revoked and Turner returned to prison in 2003 for excessive use of pornography while on community supervision and theft of cables services.


Turner was scheduled to be released from prison on February 1, 2018. Following the filing of today’s petition, which argues that Turner is a sexually violent person and is eligible for commitment under Wisconsin statutes, Turner will be detained until a probable cause hearing will occur before the Fond Du Lac County Circuit Court.


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 more likely than not 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.


A petition is only an allegation and a finding of probable cause only allows the state’s case to move forward. Turner is presumed not to be a sexually violent person unless and until proven in judicial proceedings to be a sexually violent person. The state bears the burden of proof at trial.


Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala is representing the state.


Relevant court filings are attached.