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In re Civil Commitment of A.E.F.

January 2, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF A.E.F. SVP 306-03


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP 306-03.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued December 4, 2007

Before Judges Yannotti and LeWinn.

A.E.F. appeals from an order entered by Judge Serena Perretti on June 6, 2007, which continued A.E.F.'s civil commitment pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act, N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38 (SVPA). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

On March 7, 2003, the Attorney General filed a complaint seeking A.E.F.'s civil commitment pursuant to the SVPA. At the time, A.E.F. was scheduled to complete the service of sentences imposed on July 27, 1990 for burglary, aggravated criminal sexual contact, aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact; and resisting arrest; as well as a sentence imposed on April 19, 1991 for violation of probation.

The court entered an order temporarily committing A.E.F. pursuant to the SVPA on March 17, 2003. After a hearing, the court entered a final commitment order on June 19, 2003. A.E.F. appealed and we affirmed. In re Civil Commitment of A.E.F., 377 N.J. Super. 473 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 185 N.J. 393 (2005).

This appeal arises from the order continuing A.E.F.'s civil commitment following a review hearing that took place on June 5, 2007. At the hearing, the State presented testimony from Dr. Dean DeCrisce, who prepared a report dated June 2, 2007, in which he made the following diagnoses: paraphilia, not otherwise specified (NOS); opioid dependence, in a controlled environment; cocaine dependence, in a controlled environment; polysubstance dependence, in a controlled environment; and personality disorder NOS. In the report, Dr. DeCrisce opined that A.E.F. "has not adequately mitigated his high risk to sexually re[-]offend with treatment. Therefore, he remains highly likely to re[-] offend if not confined in a secure facility for control, care and treatment."

Dr. DeCrisce testified that A.E.F. was scored on the Static-99 by three different evaluators.*fn1 All scores placed A.E.F. in the category of persons at high risk of sexual re-offense. Dr. DeCrisce stated that he diagnosed paraphilia NOS because of A.E.F.'s history of sexual offenses, which include repeated instances of forcible sexual activity. The diagnosis of opiate, cocaine, and polysubstance dependence was based on A.E.F.'s history of substance abuse. The diagnosis of personality disorder NOS was based on A.E.F.'s repeated arrests, criminal behaviors, disregard for the rights of others, impulsivity, aggressiveness and disregard for the safety of others.

The doctor stated that the combination of paraphilia with antisocial personality disorder makes an individual more likely "to act out on paraphilias that would cause harm to others . . . ." The addition of polysubstance dependencies also makes an individual more likely to act out because it "decreases inhibitions." The doctor added that, "substance abuse in a seX offender is always a risk factor if not adequately treated." Dr. DeCrisce asserted that, based on his evaluation, A.E.F. continues to have serious difficulty controlling his sexual offending behavior, and the risk has not been significantly mitigated by therapy. The doctor opined that A.E.F. remains highly likely to sexually re-offend.

The State also presented testimony from Dr. Robert Carlson, who was a member of the Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC) that evaluated A.E.F, and prepared the TPRC's report dated May 23, 2007, concerning its evaluation. The TPRC's diagnoses were: paraphilia NOS; polysubstance dependence, in institutional remission; and antisocial personality disorder, with psychopathic traits.

In his report, Dr. Carlson noted that A.E.F. was then fifty-five years old. He has a history of violent sexual behavior that dates back to the early 1970's. Dr. Carlson stated that A.E.F.'s involvement with the STU's treatment program was "uneven." He had been participating in Narcotics Anonymous but was suspended from that program because the treatment team believed it was interfering with his sex offender treatment.

The treatment team also indicated that A.E.F. was actively involved in treatment. The team reported that A.E.F. was scheduled for a polygraph examination because the reports of his sex offense history varied substantially from the official record. According to Dr. Carlson, the TPRC determined that A.E.F. had reached "a ...


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