Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Thorp sex offender slated for release

Doctor says man’s commitment at institute ‘no longer necessary’

CHIPPEWA FALLS — A convicted sex offender from Thorp is set to be released from a mental institution and returned to the community.

Derrick C. Smith, 25, was given a deferred sentence in Chippewa County Court on a charge of second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2013. Smith also was charged with five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault; he was found guilty but not guilty due to mental disease or defect.

On Thursday, Chippewa County Judge Steve Cray granted Smith a conditional release from the Mendota Mental Health Institute after hearing from Dr. James Black, who said that Smith’s commitment at Mendota was “no longer necessary and community placement is consistent with concerns of safety to Mr. Smith and others.” Cray agreed and found that community placement was appropriate.

Cray ordered a placement plan be established by the Department of Health Services within the next 60 days. A supervised released hearing was set for Nov. 19.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith had sex with a 14-year-old girl in Chippewa Falls in January 2013, when he was 19.

Smith was initially given a mental commitment in July 2013 and was sent to a group home facility at 1616 Folsom St. in Eau Claire. However, in January 2014, he sent a picture of his genitals to a “vulnerable female co-worker,” court records show. Smith was sent to Mendota Mental Health Institute near Madison. However, he tampered with an alarm on his window in June 2014 and left the facility without permission. He was located five days later.

Cray ordered an evaluation by the Department of Health Services, but that will be kept confidential and not distributed.

Contact: chris.vetter@ecpc.com

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