May 21, 2007
Jefferson City, Mo. — A Webster County jury on Thursday (May 17) found John R. Van Orden of Springfield to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) and committed him to the state treatment center in Farmington. Circuit Judge Kenneth Thompson signed the judgment and commitment order.
The office of Attorney General Jay Nixon sought to have Van Orden (DOB - 1/16/62) committed as an SVP due to his 1999 conviction in Webster County of 1st degree child molestation involving a seven-year old girl, for which he received seven years in prison. Van Orden had previous convictions for 1st degree sexual abuse involving a five-year old girl in Greene County in 1992 and for sexual misconduct with a 15-year old girl in Greene County in 1989. A petition for civil commitment was filed Oct. 14, 2005.
"My office has a long track record of aggressively pursuing the indefinite commitment of those who still pose a danger to society even after their original prison sentences end," Nixon said. "While these offenders are committed, they can receive the treatment they need."
Those committed by the court as sexually violent predators have the right to have their cases reviewed to determine if their mental abnormality has so changed that they are not likely to commit acts of sexual violence if released.
Currently, there are 82 sexually violent predators held in civil commitment in Missouri. Sexually violent predator commitments are handled by the Public Safety Division in Nixon's office. Missouri's sexually violent predator law took effect in January 1999.