February 24, 2009

Becker off to Pennsylvania treatment facility

Pat Cafferty and Gary Becker at today's hearing

Gary Becker's defense attorney, Pat Cafferty, carried the day Tuesday morning, as Racine's former mayor was given permission to leave the state to attend a six-week residential treatment program for sexual compulsivity.

Judge Stephen Simanek accepted Cafferty's arguments, stating, "I think he poses no additional risk."

District Attorney Michael Nieskes had argued for increased cash bail, and said "I believe there's adequate treatment in this area" for the impulses that led to his arrest on child sexual enticement charges in January. Pointing out that Becker "leaped right into it" when a DCI investigator, posing as a 14-year-old girl, offered to meet him for sex, Nieskes noted that none of the 16 prior cases cited by Cafferty Monday in his motion to revise Becker's bond restrictions covered the same range of accusations.

"No one else misappropriated government funds," he said, referring to the charge that Becker asked a city employee to fix his personal computer. Noting that some of the cases Cafferty listed carried cash bonds of $30,000 to $50,000, Nieskes said of Becker, "I think he's a greater flight risk." He also said Becker was more likely to adhere to bond requirements if kept in Racine County because "there are thousands of eyes in the community" watching him.

Cafferty said the KeyStone Center in Chester, PA, had conditionally approved taking Becker as a patient, pending only financial arrangements and the court's consent. Current bond restrictions against alcohol consumption, contact with minors and a prohibition against the use of computers would remain in effect. (A call to KeyStone this morning revealed the cost of the treatment: $450 per day, or $18,900 for six weeks.)

Cafferty said others accused of crimes similar to those pending against Becker have been allowed to attend out-of-state treatment, and he argued that Becker "shouldn't be treated any worse than anyone else. The reality is, he isn't going anywhere but for treatment."

Judge Simanek agreed, noting that Becker "operates a business, has family here, has a residence." It wasn't clear whether he was referring to Becker's wife, Julie, who filed for divorce on Jan. 20, the same day Becker resigned as mayor, or to his mother. Becker's cash bond of $10,000 was left unchanged.

Simanek said Becker has been "compliant" with drug and alcohol monitoring, and that the KeyStone Center "is legitimate, not fly-by-night; it's not the Betty Ford Clinic."

Becker is required to notify the court as soon as he leaves the treatment facility. His previously scheduled April 3 pretrial hearing was reset to April 24, at 8:45 a.m.


  1. I think they needed to make sure it was a lock down facility. He is a criminal. He should have some real restrictions.

  2. In-house treatment programs are a lot like boarding school. He will be given a room and possibly a roommate (depends on $). He will attend classes and group therapy throughout the day. Evenings are usually for SO (sex offender) meetings and/or homework. There will be psychological evaluations, counseling, etc. You're usually not allowed to leave the grounds for the first couple of weeks, then maybe can earn passes. Many insurance companies stopped paying for in-house treatment long ago noting that it is extremely expensive, more like a vacation than anything else, and, most importantly, ineffective.

  3. is this to say he could not get fair treatment in wisc?

  4. From what channel 4 said, there are no inhouse treatment programs in this area. But I'm sure he didn't have to go as far as PA. Sex addiction is entirely different than being a child pedophile....

  5. Did I miss something? Who is paying for this treatment?

  6. Anon 4:29: Question of who will pay didn't come up. Until I hear otherwise, I'm guessing it comes from Becker's pocket...or someone close to him. No reason to believe it's public money.

  7. When you go thru a divorce (which he is) you cannot take any loans out, cannot empty any accounts out etc.....If he's borrowing money our took equity out in his house, or even used credit cards. I hope someone notifies his soon to be ex-wifes attorney, that would be a big nono

  8. I must challenge an earlier post that inpatient treatment is “ineffective.”

    Having worked as a psychotherapist at Caron Treatment Centers, an inpatient treatment center for chemically addicted persons and their families in Wernersville, Pa., we often referred to other centers for specialized treatment, such as eating disorders, sex addiction and the like. Keystone, located in a nearby county, was one of several referral options.

    Inpatient treatment with a quality treatment center gives the individual the opportunity to fully focus on addressing the illness without distractions that daily life presents. It is a real chance to make significant changes, if the person is highly motivated to learn and grow.

    It’s also important that a person, once discharged, is willing to follow recommendations of continuing care. These might involve ongoing outpatient therapy, involvement at self-help meetings and other life changes.

  9. The JT Blogger "sir" defends Gary Becker any chance he/she can. Just for info.

  10. What does sexual addiction and being a pedophile have to do with each other? One is completely different from the other.

  11. Gary is going to get treatment for himself, that's all fine and good but what ahout the trama and terror his actions put his family through? I think they are equally in need of assistance to recover from his high-risk taking actions.

  12. All this useless POS is and ever was, is a loud mouth arrogant prick! With the intellectual capacity of a frog.

  13. Let's see if people read these old blogs........

    Just a thought.

    What if it turns out Mr Becker was sexually abused as a child? Not that it would justify what he is accused of.

    Wouldn't that put a twist on the story.