On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-385-04.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parrillo and Alvarez.
C.T. appeals from the October 20, 2011 order continuing his involuntary civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. We affirm.
C.T., who is now sixty, has been convicted of three predicate sexual offenses. See N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.26(a). On December 11, 1984, he was arrested for sexual assault upon his fifteen-year-old daughter, who became pregnant as a result. He eventually entered a guilty plea to second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a), on November 22, 1985, and was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment, subject to five years of parole ineligibility.
On August 19, 1989, C.T. was again arrested, this time for the digital penetration of the seven-year-old daughter of his girlfriend. As a result, on November 9, 1990, C.T. was convicted by a jury of second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a), and sentenced on July 12, 1991, to a four-year custodial term.
C.T. was arrested on June 25, 1998, on accusations that he had digitally penetrated both an eight-year-old girl and the seven-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, and fondled the buttocks of a ten-year-old girl. He subsequently entered a guilty plea to the second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a), of the eight-year-old child, and on June 15, 2001, was sentenced to eight and one-half years of imprisonment, subject to five years of parole ineligibility.
On December 20, 2004, C.T. was temporarily committed to the STU, based on the State's petition to declare C.T. a sexually violent predator. See N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.28. Since C.T.'s initial commitment on April 27, 2005, subsequent reviews have been conducted, and C.T.'s commitment continued on each occasion. He appealed the initial order of commitment, which was affirmed. In re Civil Commitment of C.R.T., No. A-4659-04 (App. Div. Nov. 16, 2006). He also appealed the January 9, 2009 order continuing commitment, which was also affirmed. In re Civil Commitment of C.R.T., No. A-4074-08 (App. Div. Oct. 13, 2009).
C.T. now appeals his most recent commitment order, issued after a hearing conducted on October 12 and October 20, 2011. During the hearing the State presented the expert testimony of two witnesses, psychiatrist Dr. Pogos Voskanian, and psychologist Paul Dudek, M.S., an STU staff clinical psychologist and a member of C.T.'s Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC). A psychologist, Dr. Christopher Lorah, testified on C.T.'s behalf. The court admitted into evidence Voskanian and Lorah's reports, C.T.'s TPRC report, and his STU treatment progress notes. Prior to his commitment to the STU, while imprisoned, C.T. had refused to participate in the Sex Offender Treatment Program at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC).
In preparation for his testimony and report, Voskanian conducted three interviews with C.T. and reviewed the State's petition for civil commitment, clinic certificates, ADTC records, psychological and psychiatric evaluations, TPRC and other treatment reports. He noted that the reoffenses following C.T.'s first term of incarceration demonstrated that C.T.'s pathology is "very deeply ingrained[,]" and "more complex . . . because . . . he would befriend a female who has a child, and the female would perform oral sex on him, and the -- the child would be the bonus." Additionally, he pointed out that arousal is more pathological with pedophiles when the victims are younger children.
C.T. reported to Voskanian that he was doing well in treatment, gaining in empathy, and "learning how to be at ease . . . ." During the interviews, C.T. emphasized his age on several occasions, aware that the Static-99 test measuring relative risk for sexual offense recidivism results are lower after age sixty. Although C.T. admitted to sexual arousal as a result of his fantasies of his seven-year-old victim, he asserted that he was able to "switch" to a healthier fantasy involving an age-appropriate female.
Voskanian opined that it is problematic that C.T. continues to masturbate to the images of children, and "tends to present himself in a better light . . . ." It demonstrates that C.T. was not "fully self-disclosing" and focused instead on presenting his mitigating factors. C.T. had not made substantial progress in ...