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In re Civil Commitment of J.W.M.

July 5, 2007

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF J.W.M. SVP-336-03


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-336-03.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 31, 2007

Before Judges Stern and Lyons.

Appellant, J.W.M., appeals from a judgment entered pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act, N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38 (the Act), committing him to the Special Treatment Unit for care and treatment as a sexually violent predator. We affirm.

The following factual and procedural history is relevant to our consideration of the issues advanced on appeal. On April 11, 1997, J.W.M. pled guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault, and one count of sexual assault. On October 6, 1997, J.W.M. was sentenced to ten years at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center and was given community supervision for life.

The offenses for which he was convicted involved sexual assault against a two-year-old child and two five-year-old children.

According to the record, J.W.M., who was then a juvenile, sexually assaulted his five-year-old nephew from January 1994 through April 1995. He was arrested in September 1996 and was released pending a juvenile court hearing for charges arising from that abuse.

In September 1996, J.W.M., then an adult, began to baby-sit two children, a two-year-old and a five-year-old. While minding the children, he sexually assaulted them. On January 30, 1997, J.W.M. was arrested for the assault on these two children. The case involving his nephew and the case regarding the other two children were consolidated. The juvenile offense was voluntarily waived up to the adult criminal court. At the time defendant entered his plea, he was asked about the motivation for assaulting these children. He responded, "because, like I said before, something came over me that I couldn't control and that's why."

On September 9, 2003, the Attorney General petitioned for the involuntary civil commitment of J.W.M. pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24. The termination report prepared by Dr. James R. Reynolds of the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center concluded that:

[J.W.M.'s] actuarially-based risk for sexual offense recidivism was estimated using the MnSOST-R and Static-99, the results of which indicated that [J.W.M.] respectively represents moderate and medium-high risk for sexual reoffending. These results correspond somewhat with [J.W.M.'s] clinical presentation as an individual who has made minimal therapeutic progress to date. However, [J.W.M.'s] active reinforcement of his sexual arousal to prepubescent boys, and his minimal level of engagement in treatment suggests that the actuarial instruments may underestimate [J.W.M.'s] current recidivism risk. The extent of [J.W.M.'s] deviant sexual compulsion, which may increase his recidivism risk, is also illustrated by his history of committing sexual offenses after having been taken into custody and while awaiting prosecution for his first reported sexual offense.

Dr. Gilman's termination report from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center concluded that J.W.M. met the criteria for civil commitment as a sexually violent predator and noted that he has indications of being at high risk of sexual reoffending, including the following:

1. He has a sexual deviance; namely, pedophilia;

2. He has sexually offended on more than ...


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