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Judge orders mental evaluation for child molester accused in 1970 murder

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Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A judge in Milwaukee has ordered a mental evaluation for a child molester suspected in the 1970 murder of a nine-year-old neighbor girl.

73-year-old Robert Hill is being held for psychiatric treatment, after he recently finished a prison term for molesting four girls.

Prosecutors say they’ve lost evidence in the murder case over the years. So they’re trying to convince the courts to declare Hill as a sexually-violent person – which could allow indefinite confinement under the state’s Chapter 980 mental health law for sex offenders.

Monday, Circuit Judge David Hansher found probable cause to hold Hill for a psychiatric evaluation. Hill’s attorney said he would seek a trial on a possible confinement. Hill is currently at the Sand Ridge Treatment Center in Mauston.

Third-grader Donna Willing was on her way to a bakery to buy bread when she was raped, strangled, and left under a car in a garage. The case went unsolved for almost a quarter-century before the victim’s sister asked police to re-investigate in 2004.

Police said he provided details about the crime that only officers knew – but he recanted his confession several years later.

Members of Willing’s family attended Hill’s confinement hearing Monday. Hill took part in the proceedings on a video from Mauston. 

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