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In re Civil Commitment of E.C.

February 11, 2010

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF E.C., SVP 14-99.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, SVP No. 14-99.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued January 12, 2010

Before Judges Parrillo and Lihotz.

E.C. appeals from a September 30, 2009 judgment continuing his involuntary commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU), pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. We affirm.

E.C., born in 1952, has a longstanding pattern of sexually violent and other criminal offenses. Among other things, E.C. has been found guilty of raping an eighteen-year-old woman at knifepoint in August 1974; committing lewd acts and carnal indecency under violent conditions with a female telephone installer in December 1974; raping and tying up a mother of two children in her home in January 1975; sexually assaulting in October 1980 a woman that he had lured into his home while he was on parole; escaping in June 1981 from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC); and sexually assaulting the wife of an ADTC employee while he was a fugitive during that escape. As to the latter, E.C. pled guilty to burglary and aggravated criminal sexual contact and was sentenced to serve ten years in state prison. While incarcerated for these offenses, in 1984, E.C. induced a fifteen-year old minor, via letters sent from prison, to send him nude photographs of herself in exchange for $400.00 and his assistance with her "modeling career." E.C. pled guilty to the offense and was sentenced to an eighteen-month term to run consecutive to the ten-year sentence he was serving for escape, burglary, and aggravated criminal sexual contact.

E.C. was initially committed in 1998, before expiration of his prison term for endangering the welfare of the fifteen-year old minor. Since his initial commitment, E.C. has been subject to multiple review hearings, in which the court found he satisfied the requirements for continued commitment.*fn1

The present appeal arises out of E.C.'s most recent review hearing which occurred on September 30, 2009, at the close of which the trial judge continued his involuntary civil commitment. At the hearing, E.C. presented no testimony on his behalf. The State, on the other hand, presented the testimony of Dr. Pogos Voskanian, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Nicole Paolillo, a psychologist and member of the Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC). Since E.C. refused to interview with Dr. Voskanian, the psychiatrist formulated his own diagnosis, discussed at length in a forensic psychiatric evaluation report dated September 15, 2009, after reviewing E.C.'s "file, discovery file, treatment records, progress notes, prior reports, which tell[s] the story pretty well, and provided [] the list of symptoms, behaviors, [and] personality characteristics" as well as E.C.'s progress in treatment.

According to Dr. Voskanian, E.C. had two "MAP [Modified Activities Program] placements" in the past year, in May and August, "[o]ne was [for] the threat to set the facility on fire if he's transferred from one facility or another, or to choke someone" and the May MAP placement was for "possession of bootleg CDs, [] DVDs, and duct tape" in violation of institutional rules.*fn2 In discussing the relevance of E.C.'s August threat to burn down the facility and choke someone, Dr. Voskanian stated:

[E.C.'s] sexual offenses are closely correlated with violent behaviors, anger.

And as his anger persists, he is going to sexualize it, and that issue has been addressed in treatment team that he tends to express his anger in a sexual way. He is heterosexual, of course, he did manage to get at a wife of employee here from . . .

Avenel. He continues disregard for others, in terms of being intimidating, not being able to control his anger, and having great deal of stuffed in anger places him at very high risk, I believe, to - to sexualize it as was - as is his history.

Dr. Voskanian concluded E.C. suffers from a mental abnormality, namely paraphilia not otherwise specified (NOS), antisocial personality disorder, and polysubstance dependence in institutional remission, all which ...


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