On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-459-07.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Stern and Lyons.
G.B.D. appeals from an order civilly committing him pursuant to New Jersey's Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA or Act), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. After reviewing the arguments of counsel, the record, and the trial court's oral opinion, we affirm. The following factual and procedural history is relevant to our consideration of the issues advanced on appeal.
G.B.D. has a lengthy history which the trial court reviewed during the SVP civil commitment hearing. His record of offenses concerning women and girls commences in 1968.
In 1968, while he was in the Air Force, G.B.D. was charged with an Article 128 assault. According to him, this assault involved a young woman whom he had met at a dance and had called him a name.
In early 1981, G.B.D. was charged with sexual abuse, burglary, and endangering the welfare of a minor, but he asserts that these charges were later dropped.
In March 1982, G.B.D., who was then living in New York, abducted M.R., a twelve-year old girl, from a bus stop by forcefully pulling her into his car and then taking her to his apartment. Once at his apartment, G.B.D. removed M.R.'s clothing and proceeded to perform oral sex on her. G.B.D. then attempted sexual intercourse, and tried to make M.R. perform oral sex on him, but she pulled away. After having M.R. dress, he dropped her off near her home and told her to tell no one what had happened.
In about August 1982, G.B.D. approached an eleven-year old girl, A.E., at an arcade in New York. After playing a video game with her, G.B.D. told A.E. his name was "Danny" and that he would see her again. In about December 1982, G.B.D. again approached A.E., and offered her a ring if she would go back to his apartment with him. Once at his apartment, G.B.D. told A.E. to remove her clothes and get into his bed, where he inserted his finger into her vagina. G.B.D. later took A.E. to lunch before dropping her off near her home.
On a later date, G.B.D. approached A.E. as she was walking to school and convinced her to come with him to his apartment again. At his apartment, he again had her remove her clothes and get into bed, where he proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her. Afterwards, G.B.D. again took her to lunch and gave her a watch.
A.E. later introduced G.B.D. to Y.N., a sixteen-year old girl, and both girls accompanied G.B.D. back to his apartment. There, G.B.D. engaged in sexual intercourse with Y.N., as well as oral sex with A.E. Afterward, G.B.D. drove them back to the community center where he had met them and gave both girls money. When G.B.D. was arrested for these incidents, he offered the arresting officer $250 to let him go.
On February 15, 1983, G.B.D. was indicted in New York on a charge of attempted rape in the first-degree in relation to the incident with M.R. On April 14, 1983, G.B.D. was indicted in New York on several counts of a charge of rape in the second-degree in relation to the incidents with A.E. and Y.N.
In October 1983, G.B.D. received a psychiatric evaluation from Dr. I. Carl Lee in connection with the criminal charges he was then facing. Dr. Lee noted in his report that G.B.D. complained, "I want help." G.B.D. went on to say "I am not here just because of my case. I wanted help for a long time."
On November 29, 1983, G.B.D. pled guilty to sexual abuse in the first-degree in relation to the M.R. incident and to the crime of bribery in the second-degree in relation to the A.E. and Y.N. incidents. He was sentenced on January 11, 1984. On each of these two indictments, he was sentenced to five years probation, which were to run concurrently.
G.B.D. was later arrested in April 1985 and charged with rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse, but according to him, he was found not guilty of the charges.
Then, in the summer of September 1988, G.B.D., who was still living in New York, approached a ten-year old girl, L.B., in the elevator of her New York apartment building on three separate occasions. When he was alone with her in the elevator, G.B.D. touched L.B. on her breasts, buttocks, and vagina over her clothes and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
G.B.D. was arrested and in October 1991, was charged with six counts of sexual abuse in the first-degree, for which he was convicted in December 1991. As a result of his conviction, he received six concurrent terms of thirty months to five years in prison, from which he was released on parole in March 1995.
G.B.D.'s next incident is the predicate SVPA incident. On July 28, 2001, G.B.D. was on the boardwalk in Atlantic City and approached a group of girls, ages ten to twelve-years old. After talking with the group for a while, G.B.D. eventually went with them to the Terminal Market and bought them drinks and snacks. When the group moved to McClinton Park, G.B.D. tried to lure one of the girls, T.D., to an area behind him so he could try to watch her urinate.
G.B.D. also tried to assist another girl, C.P., with a backflip, but she refused. G.B.D. then put his arm about her waist and put three dollars into the waist of her pants. G.B.D. attempted to get some of the group to ride in his car with him, but they refused. When C.P. went home, she told her father what had happened.
Two days later, C.P. saw G.B.D. in front of her home. He motioned for her to follow him onto the boardwalk. C.P. instead went back into her house and told her father, who went outside and saw G.B.D. C.P.'s father then notified the police, causing G.B.D. to leave the area.
After the police put out a description of G.B.D. and his car, he was arrested just a few days later on August 2, 2001. C.P. and her father both came in and identified G.B.D. in a photo array.
In April 2002, G.B.D. was tried on two counts of third-degree luring, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6. Following a jury trial, he was convicted. He was then sentenced to a term of eight years with a four-year parole ineligibility period on count one, and a term of four years with a two-year period of parole ineligibility on count two, which was to run concurrent.
During his incarceration for his conviction, G.B.D. requested a transfer to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC) where he attended treatment. On December 4, 2006, the Center issued a termination report on G.B.D. In the report, it was noted that G.B.D. had problems with discussing his prior sexual offenses, choosing to portray himself in a positive light and/or minimizing his prior behavior as "trying to befriend young girls and being misunderstood." The report indicated that he was classified as a high risk to reoffend by the STATIC 99 assessment and as a moderate risk to reoffend by the MnSOST-R assessment. The report found that he may "meet the criteria for commitment as a Sexually Violent Predator" and recommended he receive screening.
In the section of the report prepared by Dr. Harris, G.B.D. gave an explanation of the events in Atlantic City in which he stated he was trying to develop a friendship with the group of girls, calling it a "grooming process" and that he wanted to eventually have sex with them. Dr. Harris diagnosed G.B.D. as having "Pedophilia, girls, not exclusive, and Antisocial Personality Disorder."
Dr. Harris noted in the report that G.B.D.'s prior offenses ranged from being carefully planned and thought out (the giving of gifts and the like) to being impulsive (grabbing girls off the street or following them into an elevator). He noted that G.B.D. attempted to minimize his behavior, indicating that he was interested in girls fifteen to sixteen-years old. Dr. Harris reported that G.B.D. seemed to believe that was acceptable, as he quoted G.B.D. as stating "[i]t's okay to have sex with a 15 or 16 year old because all you'll get is probation." Overall, Dr. Harris felt G.B.D. was at high risk to reoffend and that the treatment he had received so far was ...