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In re Civil Commitment of R.L.L.

April 13, 2010

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF R.L.L., SVP-42-00


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, SVP-42-00.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued January 12, 2010

Before Judges Carchman and Ashrafi.

R.L.L. appeals from an order under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38, continuing his civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) after a sixth review hearing. We affirm.

We have previously affirmed appellant's continued commitment in unpublished opinions containing detailed statements of the facts and the law relevant to identifying appellant as a sexually violent predator subject to civil commitment. In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of R.L.L., SVP-42-00, No. A-6496-05T2 (App. Div. March 1, 2007); In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of R.X.L.*fn1 , SVP-42-00, No. A-5883-04T2 (App. Div. May 1, 2006). We adopt those statements of fact and law, without repeating them in full, as the background and more complete legal explanation for the current review and appeal.

Appellant, who is now sixty-six years old, has a record of sexually violent acts dating from about 1960, when he was sixteen years old, until his last conviction in 1991, at the age of forty-seven. He had a substantial record of juvenile adjudications, although he was never charged with sexual offenses as a juvenile. At a later time, he admitted that, while with a gang as a teenager, he had raped girls on two occasions. During his early adult years, in 1963 and 1971, rape charges were brought against him and subsequently dismissed for reasons that are no longer contained in the records. Appellant has admitted raping eight women during his lifetime, only a relatively small part of which has been spent in the community, outside the restricted setting of juvenile detention, adult prison, and STU.

His first sexual conviction occurred as a result of charges brought in 1972 on three counts of rape. Appellant was twenty-eight years old. He was convicted on two of the counts and sentenced to prison. He was paroled in 1977. Within months, in January 1978, appellant was arrested for another rape, this one committed at gunpoint in a car. He was convicted again and sentenced to prison. He served that sentence at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Avenel, where he received treatment as a sexual offender. He served the maximum time under that sentence and was released in October 1989.

Eighteen months later, in April 1991, appellant sexually assaulted a woman he had met at work, this time by threatening her with a knife in her apartment and also threatening to hurt her sleeping children. Upon his conviction for first-degree aggravated sexual assault and a weapons offense, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.

In February 2000, just before appellant completed the maximum time under the 1991 sentence, the State successfully petitioned the court to commit appellant civilly under the SVPA. His commitment has been continued after five prior review hearings.

Under the SVPA:

"Sexually violent predator" means a person who has been convicted . . . of a sexually violent offense . . . and suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for control, care and treatment. [N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.26.]

"'Mental abnormality' means a mental condition that affects a person's emotional, cognitive or volitional capacity in a manner that predisposes that person to commit acts of sexual violence." Ibid. "'Likely to engage in acts of sexual violence' means the propensity of a person to commit acts of sexual violence is ...


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