On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division.
Approved for Publication July 8, 1997.
Before Judges Shebell and Dreier. The opinion of the court was delivered by Shebell, P.j.a.d.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shebell
The opinion of the court was delivered by
This is a Megan's Law appeal. Registrant, A.I., was released on parole on September 26, 1994 from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC) at Avenel after serving an indeterminate sentence not to exceed twenty years. He had been sentenced on a guilty plea to charges of armed robbery and sodomy that were committed on November 9, 1978. Upon his release from Avenel, he registered with the County Prosecutor's Office pursuant to the Registration and Community Notification Laws (Megan's Law), N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -11.
On June 6, 1996, A.I. was notified by the Prosecutor that he was considered a high risk (Tier III) sex offender with a Registrant Risk Assessment Scale (RRAS) score of seventy-seven (77) points. A.I. sought judicial review to contest his tier designation.
On September 5, 1997, a conference was held before a Judge, at which time A.I. contested the ratings assigned to the following categories of the RRAS: Victim Selection, History of Antisocial Acts, and Employment. The Judge granted A.I.'s request to be evaluated by an expert. In September 1996, the expert issued his report. Hearings were conducted in January 1997, and on February 19, 1997, the Judge, after hearing expert testimony, affirmed the Tier III classification. This appeal follows.
In November 1975, A.I. was charged with robbery and assault with intent to commit sodomy of a fifteen year old male. On July 30, 1976, he was sentenced to an indeterminate term at the New Jersey Youth Correction Institution. He was paroled on August 24, 1977. He was re-arrested in November 1978 for sodomy and armed robbery of a sixteen year old male. A.I. stated to the police that he had done this in the past to four other boys. In March 1979, he pled guilty to sodomy, and the armed robbery charge was dismissed. He was sentenced on May 10, 1979 to a twenty year indeterminate sentence at the ADTC at Avenel. He was released on parole from the ADTC on September 26, 1994. A.I. has a juvenile record of three larcenies, as well as an adult disorderly persons offense.
The November 1978 offense occurred as the victim left his girlfriend's house. A.I. pulled up in a car in front of the house and ordered the victim to enter the car. A.I. drove to a secluded area of a park and ordered the victim to step outside. A.I. told the victim that he knew the victim's girlfriend. The victim observed that A.I. possessed a gun and a blood stained hammer. During the assault, A.I. repeatedly slapped the face of the victim and told him that if he yelled, he would kill him. Instilling fear in the victim, A.I. told him that he had taken other kids to the park and killed them. The victim was forced to perform fellatio, was sodomized, and then ordered to perform fellatio again. After ordering the victim to turn over his money, A.I. told the victim he wouldn't need money where he was going. After the victim escaped and ran home, he called his girlfriend to learn the name of A.I. The incident was then reported to the police, and the victim was admitted to the hospital.
Reports from ADTC describe A.I.'s sexual pathology as one of being "exposed to the fusion of sex and violence." The following is a synopsis from a report dated January 18, 1994 explaining his pathological development:
At age 10, [A.I.] was summarily raped by several homosexual men at once. He was forced to fellate one man while another sodomized him simultaneously. Although [A.I]. reports that this assault was painful, he also states that it "felt good". At age 14, [A.I.] and several friends sexually abused a female in a "train". However, [A.I.] could not perform because he feared being sodomized by his friends while on top of the female. [A.I.] became exclusively attracted to males after the above. He began to fantasize about "plugging" young boys. Consequently, [A.I.] was first sent to jail for attempting to overpower and sodomize young males. During eighteen months of jail, [A.I.] saw many males being raped, which was extremely arousing to him. He admittedly became a "booty bandit". As he states, "It was easier and I didn't have to worry about being rejected or exposed". After release from prison, [A.I.], with the addition of weapons and alcohol, began forcibly raping weaker and younger males. The instant offense was indicative of his mode of operation; which consisted of alcohol and drug use, stalking, the threat of harm and, finally, violent sodomy.
Since his release from ADTC, A.I. has resided with his parents in a two family home. He meets with his parole officer on a monthly basis, which includes home visits by the officer on weekends. He has not had any parole violations since his release and is currently involved in weekly counseling sessions. At the time of the hearing on January 7, 1997, he was employed, although he had held six different jobs since his release.
The psychological expert reported in his evaluation and also testified that A.I. was at a low risk for the commission of further sexual offenses. This Conclusion was shared by the therapist who treated A.I. after his initial release from ADTC on parole. A.I.'s current therapist also ...