Roland Rupnick – Classified Sexually Violent – Civil Confinement

After a two-day trial this week, a judge ruled a former Wood County man should be classified as sexually violent, a decision that will prevent the man from being released from custody.

Roland Rupnick, 40, formerly of Marshfield and Neillsville, had been scheduled for release from prison May 7, 2008. Portage County Circuit Court Judge John Vincent Finn, acting as a substitute judge in the Wood County case, found probable cause to have a hearing for commitment under the state’s sexually violent person statutes. The statues allow a civil commitment when the person has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, has a mental disorder and is dangerous to others.

Rupnick waived his right to a jury trial in the civil commitment and left the decision to Finn, said Bill Cost, spokesman for the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office, which represented the state in the case. The case took a year to get to trial because Rupnick changed attorneys shortly after Finn found probable cause to continue with the civil commitment process.

Rupnick was convicted in 1993 of first-degree sexual assault of a 3-year-old. He was given a year in jail and placed on 10 years of probation, according to court documents. In 1996, he was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a 10-year-old. Wood County Circuit Court Judge James Mason revoked Rupnick’s probation on the first offense, sentenced him to 10 years with credit for almost three years already served, and sentenced him to an additional 10 years in prison for the second offense.

Rupnick now has been committed to the custody of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services for care and control and is expected to be housed at the Saint Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston so he can receive treatment, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office.

An individual committed as a sexually violent person has the right to a periodic review of his or her case in order to gain release, Cosh said.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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