On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-42-00.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parrillo and Alvarez.
R.L.L., appeals from a July 19, 2011 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.
R.L.L., who is now 68 years old, has a record of sexually violent acts dating from about 1960, when he was sixteen years old, until his last conviction in 1992, at the age of forty- seven,*fn1 for first-degree aggravated sexual assault. That conviction, involving the forcible rape of a co-worker at knifepoint, served as the predicate offense, triggering R.L.L.'s commitment in 2000 to the STU under the SVPA. It was also committed less than two years after his October 1989 parole from the Adult Diagnostic Treatment Center (ADTC), where he was admitted in May 1979 following his April 1979 conviction for threatening to kill one victim with a gun and vaginally raping another in the back seat of his car.
Prior to his initial commitment in 2000, R.L.L. was diagnosed with paraphilia, not otherwise specified (NOS), and with anti-social personality disorder. Concern was also expressed at that time that R.L.L. had received treatment for a decade during his pre-April 1991 incarceration, but nonetheless had reoffended after parole and community supervision. Since that time, R.L.L. has had numerous review hearings resulting in his continued commitment, and we affirmed on those occasions he sought appellate review of orders extending his commitment. In the Matter of Civil Commitment of R.L.L., SVP-42-00, No. A-0631-09 (App. Div. April 13, 2010); In the Matter of Civil Commitment of R.L.L., SVP-42-00, No. A-6496-05 (App. Div. March 1, 2007); In the Matter of Civil Commitment of R.X.L., SVP-42-00, No A-5883-04 (App. Div. May 1, 2006).
At the most recent review hearing, which is the subject of this appeal, Dr. Marta P. Scott, M.D., the State's expert, diagnosed R.L.L. with paraphilia NOS and sexual sadism. Scott noted the progress R.L.L. has made in treatment over the last year:
[R.L.L.] has a fairly sophisticated understanding of his sex offender cycle and the underlying historic psychodynamic factors. He is able to identify emotional states that he associates with offending, and has a well articulated relapse prevention plan. He has two elaborate aversive scripts and presented his maintenance contract to his process group over the last review period. He [also] passed his Deviant Arousal Polygraph
Despite this progress, Scott nonetheless opined that R.L.L. was still in the high risk category for reoffending, even considering his age. She explained:
[R.L.L.] has a history of extremely poor premorbid functioning, early onset general criminality, poor impulse control and polysubstance abuse. He started his sexual offenses at an early age and repeatedly reoffended while under parole supervision. He committed his predicate offense less than two years after his release from the ADCT, following 10 years sex offender treatment.
Scott therefore concluded:
In consideration of all the previous information, it is my opinion within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that [R.L.L.] continues to suffer from mental abnormalities that, at present, affect his cognitive, emotional and volitional capacity such as to make him highly likely to sexually reoffend if not kept under the ...