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Violent sex offender returned to treatment center following nude jail display

By Brandi Makuski

One of Portage County’s worst sex offenders is back behind bars.

Charles G. Anderson, 76, was granted a supervised release from Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, near Mauston, in October 2017. He’d spent more than a decade under a civil commitment order in a program designed for the state’s worst sex offenders. The legal designation for such an individual, which can only be declared following a series of legal proceedings, is a Sexually Violent Person.

Anderson was convicted in Portage Co. Court of repeat second-degree child sex assault in 1997. During his allocution, court records show Anderson admitting to having sexually abused over 100 children.

Following Anderson’s release from Sand Ridge, he was required to remain on lifetime electronic and GPS monitoring, and to live in an Ashland Co. home monitored by the Dept. of Health Services while following a lengthy list of restrictions. He was rearrested last September and appeared in person for a Jan. 3 revocation hearing in Portage Co. Circuit Court.

Kevin Greene, a special prosecutor from Green Bay who specializes in Sexually Violent Person cases across 22 counties, said Anderson was taken into custody for violating several conditions of his release.

Many of the infractions, according to Greene, were minor but escalated with each occurrence. Anderson initially failed to complete his monthly financial reports, and then became suspected of lying to his therapist, probation officer, and other state employees responsible for monitoring his daily activities. On one occasion, Greene said, Anderson violated his GPS monitoring, leaving an eight-minute window when his whereabouts were unknown. He also reportedly lied about how and where he purchased a new television, using the internet to complete the purchase—a “clear violation” of the rules, Greene said.

Those violations were enough to rearrest Anderson, who was being held at the Ashland Co. Jail until a Portage Co. Judge could hear arguments on recommitting Anderson to Sand Ridge.

While in custody, Anderson began to exhibit bizarre behavior, Greene said, and one morning emerged from his cell “naked, with an erect penis, and masturbating”.

When questioned, Anderson claimed he was afraid of his cellmate. Believing the other man was a dangerous member of the Aryan Brotherhood gang, Anderson said his actions were an attempt to get assigned to another cell.

“At this point in time, I don’t believe there’s any other option but send him back,” Greene argued before Flugaur on Thursday, adding Anderson’s behavior had become “grandiose” and uncooperative in the weeks prior to being rearrested.

“He is clearly regressing,” Greene said. “Coming out of his cell naked was a decision, and masturbating on top of it…doesn’t make any sense. He’s sliding back.”

Defense attorney Gary Kryshak said his client’s infractions weren’t serious, and he hadn’t demonstrated violent or threatening behavior towards others. Anderson was being unfairly penalized, Kryshak said, because of his naturally argumentative nature.

“You can’t just throw him back in [to confinement] for being arrogant, argumentative…he is who he is,” Kryshak said.

Anderson was also accused of lying to his therapist. Part of Anderson’s treatment plan is to actively cooperate with therapy treatment, but he recently claimed to have specific inappropriate desires that were uncharacteristic with his history of offenses, and that he’d failed to mention during the past 13 years of therapy.

Kryshak called it a “misunderstanding”, but Flugaur didn’t buy the explanation, saying he believed Anderson was attempting to manipulate his therapist and others in the DHS system, calling it “a red flag” that indicated a larger problem.

“Rules are rules, and they are put into place for a reason,” Fluguar said on Thursday. “There have been rule violations, and if you take any of these by themselves, [they] wouldn’t be enough to revoke a person. But it went from doing a monthly financial report to being argumentative to the ordering of the TV…it’s a little more serious each time, that is a concern.”

Flugaur ruled in favor of the state, and Anderson was transferred back to Sand Ridge on Jan. 3. Anderson made no statements after the ruling.

Becoming a Sexually Violent Person

Anderson, a repeat child sex offender with convictions in at least two other states, was involuntarily committed in 2005 under the Wisconsin Sexually Violent Person law, also known by its statute number, a Chapter 980 offense. Until that law was passed in 1994, according to Portage Co. District Attorney Louis Molepske, the state was limited in how it could control its worst sex offenders after their prison terms had been served.

The law allows 980 offenders to be released into the community, based on recommendations by doctors and other staff at Sand Ridge once certain treatment benchmarks are reached, but under conditions far more restrictive than other offenders’.

A typical offender prosecuted by the Portage Co. District Attorney’s Office may be required to repay damages, register with Wisconsin Probation and Parole, or refrain from consuming alcohol, but they are generally free to continue their lives provided they stay out of trouble.

Sexually Violent Persons aren’t given the benefit of the doubt. According to Greene, each is required to live in a pre-approved residence, run by third-party, DHS-approved vendors, located at least 1,500 feet away from schools, parks, and other places frequented by children, and to pay for at least some of their living expenses.

Each is subject to lifetime electronic ankle and GPS monitoring, and, according to Portage Co. Sheriff Mike Lukas, deputies are notified immediately if the signal is disrupted, or shows the convict is somewhere they shouldn’t be. SVPs are confined to the residence, Lukas said, with the exception of pre-approved medical appointments, church, or other meetings, and for at least the first year of their release, aren’t allowed to leave the home without a pre-approved chaperone or drive a vehicle.

Anderson’s release was widely reported throughout 2016-17, with Lukas’ office receiving notification of the impending release from the state just two weeks in advance. At the time, Anderson was Portage County’s first 980 offender, someone Portage Co. District Attorney Louis Molepske characterized as “one of the worst” in the county.

DHS initially planned to place Anderson in a home on State Hwy. 49 in the Town of Alban, but after objections by Molepske and Lukas, Portage Co. Judge Thomas Flugaur ruled that property was not acceptable because of its close proximity to the Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, which is used as the town’s community center.

Anderson was a boy’s baseball coach in Portage Co. when he was convicted of sexually assaulting one of his 11-year-old players. According to the criminal complaint, Anderson also was active at the YMCA, where the victim said Anderson would touch boys sexually in the pool and the shower, and during visits to Anderson’s Second St. home over the summer.

Before coming to Wisconsin, Anderson was convicted of molesting at least three children in Arizona and California between 1979 and 1981. Following his move to Wisconsin, Anderson worked as a licensed teacher at several Central Wisconsin schools, to include St. Adalbert Catholic School near Rosholt.

As of Dec. 11, 2018, Anderson was one of 50 SVPs on supervised release in the state, according to the DHS.