On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-375-04.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Lisa and Reisner.
R.M.T. appeals from a May 21, 2010 judgment continuing his civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU), pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act, N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. We affirm, substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Freedman's comprehensive sixty-four page oral opinion placed on the record on May 21, 2010.
In 2002, when he was seventeen years old, R.M.T. was adjudicated delinquent for committing acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted sexual assault. To summarize, R.M.T. had been sexually molesting his two sisters over a period of many years. However, he has since admitted to sexually assaulting twenty-nine other children, both boys and girls, as well as committing sexual acts with family pets.
R.M.T. was initially committed to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) in 2004, after serving his sentence for delinquency. Orders were entered continuing his commitment on the following dates: June 28, 2005, June 12, 2006, May 26, 2009, and May 21, 2010. R.M.T. appealed the June 12, 2006 judgment, which we affirmed. In re Civil Commitment of R.M.T., No. A-5768-05 (App. Div. Feb. 5, 2007).
The following evidence was presented at the May 19, 2010 hearing which gave rise to this appeal. Dr. Pogos H. Dr. Voskanian, a psychiatrist who evaluated R.M.T, concluded that he suffers from a mental abnormality which predisposes him to commit another sexual offense. Dr. Voskanian testified that R.M.T. simply "cannot refrain from sexually acting out behaviors." Dr. Voskanian diagnosed R.M.T. with pedophilia, paraphilia [not otherwise specified], zoophilia, rule-out transvestic fetishism, exhibitionism, voyeurism and frotterism. Regarding the transvestic fetishism and voyeurism diagnoses, Dr. Voskanian testified that, normally, they would not concern him. In R.M.T.'s case however, Dr. Voskanian believed that, "in conjunction with more extreme pathology of arousal to children, animals, multiple victims, it points to a more severe degree of sexual disturbance and more paraphilias."
Dr. Voskanian testified that he doubted the sincerity of R.M.T.'s treatment efforts. Dr. Voskanian asserted that R.M.T. "tends to admit to things that are not necessarily sexual offense[s]," which Dr. Voskanian believed "raises issues regarding [the] sincerity of [R.M.T.] engaging into treatment and presenting himself." By overstating the number of offenses and victims, Dr. Voskanian testified that R.M.T. is acting "hyper-moral" and "presenting himself as too good." Dr. Voskanian also discussed R.M.T.'s manipulative and secretive behavior during therapy sessions, which "go hand-in-hand with [his] assessment of [R.M.T.] being superficially engage[d] into treatment and not being sincere."
Dr. Voskanian raised several other concerns regarding the progress of R.M.T.'s treatment. Dr. Voskanian opined that there were "some inconsistencies" in the reports R.M.T. provided regarding the progress of his treatment. Dr. Voskanian described the results of one of R.M.T.'s polygraph examinations*fn1 as concerning, and asserted that they suggest a "good capacity to present himself in a very, very believable manner." Dr. Voskanian also testified that R.M.T. "over-intellectualizes, over-rationalizes, but there is a sense of not caring, not having any empathy, and he was just talking, basically." Dr. Voskanian concluded that he did not believe R.M.T. has made "actual progress."
Dr. Voskanian opined that the combination of R.M.T.'s sexual pathology, borderline personality disorder and history of alcohol abuse "elevates the risk" that R.M.T. will commit another sexual offense. Dr. Voskanian did not believe that R.M.T. has undergone sufficient treatment to keep from "acting out," because "he's still described as manipulative, as wearing [a] mask, continues to have inappropriate sexual contact at the S.T.U., ...