MADISON (Press Release) — The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition under the
state's sexual predator law against a Burnett County man.
The petition was filed on January 7, 2013, in Burnett County
Circuit Court and alleges that Warren S. Harer (DOB 04/14/1958) is a
sexually violent person and should be committed for treatment. The
Burnett County Circuit Court found probable cause on the petition, ordered
Harer detained. A probable cause hearing will be scheduled at a future
date to be determined.
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, on
November 23, 1994, Harer pleaded no contest to eight counts of Incest
with a Child in Burnett County Case No. 94-CF-30. Harer was found
guilty but not guilty due to mental disease/defect. Harer was committed
to the Department of Health Services (DHS) for institutional care for a maximum
term of 80 years. Harer was scheduled to be conditionally released from
DHS on his NGI commitment but will be detained at a DHS facility to await trial
on the petition.
The state's petition alleges that Harer suffers from mental
conditions that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence. The
petition also alleges that Harer 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. Harer 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 V. Latorraca represents
the state in this case.
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