A former Rhinelander resident has withdrawn a petition for a hearing on whether he remains a sexually violent person.
In 1994, Walter E. Springer was convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual assault. He served 10 years in prison and was released in May, 2004. The state then filed a petition under the state sexual predator law to keep Springer in a secure mental facility for treatment. He has tried several times to be released from care without success.
He filed another petition that was scheduled to be heard in two weeks. At a motion hearing Thursday before Vilas County Judge Neal Nielsen, Springer's attorney Robert Prifogle said they're dropping the attempt at a discharge hearing for now...
"...he's still actively engaged in treatment and we would anticipate when he makes an additional move forward in his treatment progress then we will at that point, in all likelihood refile a discharge petition..."
Judge Nielsen accepted the request by Springer to withdraw the petition for discharge. Springer and his attorney indicated when he finishes treatment he will refile another discharge petition.
Chapter 980 was passed by the legislature allowing for indefinite holding of sexually violent persons in mental facilities after the end of their prison term to undergo treatment.