State seeks to have man declared sexual predator in Rock County case

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, May 29, 2014

JANESVILLE—A man who sexually assaulted children in Rock and Green counties is out of prison, but the state has him in custody and hopes to have him held indefinitely under the state's sexual predator law.

At a hearing Wednesday in Rock County Court, Judge Michael Fitzpatrick found probable cause that Scott D. Garetson, a former Janesville resident, is sexually violent, according to a news release from the state Department of Justice.

The law allows civil commitments of sexually violent offenders who have mental disorders and are likely to commit more acts of sexual violence. Those convicted under the law are held by the Department of Health Services for treatment until they are no longer considered sexually violent.

A state prosecutor has requested a jury trial in the commitment case.

Garetson, 44, was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child and sentenced to 15 years in prison in a Rock County case in 1999.

Garetson was released from prison May 14 and is being held at a Department of Health Services facility pending further proceedings.

A state Department of Corrections psychologist diagnosed Garetson with disorders that predispose him to engage in sexually violent acts against children, according to a criminal complaint.

Garetson sexually touched a girl while he was free on bond in the 1999 case, according to the complaint.

Garetson was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in Green County in 1993, and he was convicted in two other child sexual assault cases in Rock County, in 1986 and 1989, the complaint states.

Garetson also reportedly was disciplined for engaging in sexual acts with other prison inmates.

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