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In re Civil Commitment of T.T.

January 2, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF T.T. SVP 184-01


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP 184-01.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued December 4, 2007

Before Judges Yannotti and LeWinn.

T.T. has been civilly committed to the Special Treatment Unit (STU), the secure facility designated for the treatment of persons in need of commitment pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act, N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38 (SVPA). T.T. appeals from an order entered by Judge Serena Perretti on March 20, 2007, which continued his civil commitment.

The record shows that T.T. has a lengthy criminal record which includes arrests and convictions for various sexual offenses involving minors. In March 1992, T.T. was arrested and charged with certain offenses arising from the sexual assault of a twelve-year-old-girl. The victim was the sister of a woman who T.T. was dating at the time. T.T. was released on bail and ordered not to have contact with the victim.

In April 1992, T.T. violated the no-contact condition of his bail and spent part of an evening with the victim. On September 1, 1992, T.T. pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4, and criminal contempt, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9. He was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. The sentence was made concurrent with a sentence imposed in October 1992, following T.T.'s conviction of larceny.

T.T. was released on parole in 1993, and shortly thereafter married a woman who had two daughters. T.T. was arrested in December 1995 for possession of a weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b. As part of the police investigation, additional charges were filed stemming from T.T.'s sexual assault upon his two step-daughters, who were four and five years old, respectively.

T.T. pled guilty to two counts of sexual assault, and admitted that between July and December 1995, he entered his step-daughters' bedroom, placed his hand in their underwear, and touched them for purposes of sexual gratification. In December 1996, T.T. was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment, with no possibility for parole. The sentence was to be served at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC). T.T. also was sentenced to community supervision for life.

Prior to his planned release from the ADTC, the Attorney General filed a petition seeking T.T.'s civil commitment pursuant to the SVPA. The trial court found that T.T. was a sexually violent predator requiring commitment in a secure facility for custody, care and treatment.

T.T. appealed and we remanded to the trial court to reconsider its determination in light of In re Commitment of W.Z., 173 N.J. 109 (2002), which had been decided after the trial court's opinion. See In re Commitment of T.T. No. A-3158-01T3 (App. Div. May 2, 2003). On remand, the trial judge applied the standard for commitment enunciated in W.Z. and again found that T.T. was a sexually violent predator in need of commitment pursuant to the SVPA. We affirmed that determination. In re Commitment of T.T. A-3156-03T2 (App. Div. April 15, 2005).

This appeal arises from the review hearing that occurred on March 19, 2007. At the hearing, the State presented testimony from Dr. Brian Friedman, who prepared the annual review report for the Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC), dated August 17, 2006. In that report, the TPRC diagnosed pedophilia, sexually attracted to females, non-exclusive; and personality disorder NOS, with anti-social traits.

Dr. Friedman wrote in the report that the diagnosis of pedophila was based on T.T.'s "intense, recurring fantasies, urges, and/or behaviors involving sexual arousal toward prepubescent girls." The doctor noted that T.T. had acted on these urges by molesting his two step-daughters and a twelve-year-old girl. In the report, Dr. Friedman also stated that the diagnosis of personality disorder ...


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