On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-263-02.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Lihotz and St. John.
C.R.M. appeals from the October 13, 2011 order continuing his involuntary civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) as a sexually violent predator pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. C.R.M. argues the State's evidence failed to prove he is highly likely to reoffend, and suggests the record does not support the judge's finding he currently suffers from pedophilia. C.R.M. maintains the evidence demonstrates he is unlikely to reoffend, requiring the entry of an order of conditional discharge. We disagree and affirm.
These facts were presented by the State during the commitment review hearing. In 1988, C.R.M. was charged but acquitted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a(1) and/or (2), based on allegations of multiple sexual assaults against his daughter A.B. On May 23, 1994, appellant pled guilty to three counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a(1) and/or (2), involving multiple sexual assaults against his three daughters, A.S., R.R., and M.R. The sexual abuse began in 1986, while C.R.M. was on trial for the prior alleged offenses against A.B., lasting until 1991.
According to the victims' accounts, they were extensively sexually abused over a long period of time. For A.S., the abuse endured from age eight to nineteen, during which time C.R.M. performed multiple sex acts upon her and gave her marijuana and cocaine. He began to vaginally penetrate A.S. when she was twelve, and continued until she was nineteen. She became pregnant at age sixteen, however she miscarried. C.R.M. told A.S. that if she told anyone that he was sexually abusing her "[the sisters] would all be separated, placed in foster care, and would never find each other again." C.R.M. also threatened her with a knife in order to gain her sexual compliance, stating that if she did not take off her clothes "he would cut me." A.S. explained that the assaults were frequent, and during certain intervals, occurred nightly.
R.R. reported that C.R.M. began abusing her at age four and that C.R.M. would have sex with her and A.S. simultaneously. According to R.R., C.R.M. performed numerous sex acts upon her, including intercourse, oral sex and sodomy, and at times, this abuse occurred daily. As he did with A.S., C.R.M. threatened R.R. that if she told anyone that he was abusing her, the sisters "would be separated and put into foster homes." . . .
M.R. revealed that C.R.M. started molesting her when she was eleven, and continued to perform numerous sex acts on her for years. C.R.M. frequently "would beat [M.R.] with a belt," hit her "with his hands" and give her bruises. He beat her, "usually . . . right after [M.R.] refused to have sex with him." [In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of C.R.M., No. A-6775-02 (App. Div. March 23, 2006) (slip op. at 3-4).]
C.R.M. was sentenced to an aggregate fifteen-year term.*fn1
Kenneth L. McNeil, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC), evaluated C.R.M., concluding he was a "narcissistic, stimulation[-]seeking individual, with pronounced antisocial tendencies, and a history of substance abuse and involvement in the drug trade." Dr. McNeil also determined C.R.M. displayed an "irresistible[,]" "repetitive and compulsive" sexual urge for his daughters. C.R.M. was ordered to serve his sentence at the ADTC.
While at the ADTC, C.R.M. engaged in therapy and treatment. He progressed to Level IV in the spring of 2001. By 2001, he had completed "the psycho-education modules in clear thinking, arousal reconditioning, victim empathy, relapse prevention, and substance abuse." Id. at 6. In addition, C.R.M. ran two peer therapy groups and a self-help group. His test scores continued to reflect a moderate risk for sexual reoffense.
A March 11, 2002 evaluation concluded C.R.M.'s "deviance and his compulsiveness . . . [c]reate enough concern to warrant screening for possible civil commitment[.]" Id. at 7. His crimes were committed over an extended period of time, "with complete disregard for the victims' emotional and physical well being," and the present offenses were committed while he was standing trial "for similar behaviors against a different daughter." Ibid. An evaluation by Vivian Shnaidman, M.D. an ADTC psychiatrist, aligned with this recommendation, concluding "[C.R.M.] does not appear to ...