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In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of E.S. Svp-519-09

July 9, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF E.S. SVP-519-09


On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-519-09.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 19, 2012

Decided

Before Judges Lihotz and St. John.

E.S. appeals from an initial commitment order entered on July 20, 2009, in which the court found he is a sexually violent predator under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38, and is subject to involuntary civil commitment. On appeal, E.S. argues that the State failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he has a mental abnormality and personality disorder sufficient to prove his present high likelihood to reoffend. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

I.

The record reveals that in 1984, E.S. was indicted on forty-one counts related to a spree of twenty-one rapes and home invasion robberies committed between 1979 and 1984, a time-period when, although his identity was unknown, the perpetrator was notoriously referred to as the "Edgemere Rapist" of Franklin Township. E.S. typically assaulted his victims between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m., while they were alone in their homes, many asleep in their beds. He used various weapons in the assaults such as sticks, bricks, tire irons, and knives. Several of the victims were gratuitously beaten before and after genital penetration had concluded.

E.S. pled guilty to six counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault, nine counts of aggravated assault, fifteen counts of assault with intent to commit burglary, three counts of burglary, two counts of theft, and two counts of attempted burglary. He was sentenced to a term of forty-years imprisonment. E.S. served approximately twenty-four years of his sentence; four of them were spent at the Special Treatment Unit (STU) of the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Avenel (ADTC). He was scheduled to max out of his sentence and be released on January 10, 2009.

On June 25, 2008, the State petitioned for E.S.'s civil commitment, and on July 14, 2009, a hearing was held. The State presented the testimony of two witnesses, Dr. Dean De Crisce, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Brian Friedman, a psychologist. E.S. called Dr. Timothy Foley, a psychologist.

Dr. De Crisce performed a psychiatric evaluation of E.S., and authored a report dated July 13, 2009. In his report, he noted E.S. suffers from paraphilia and antisocial personality disorder "as evidenced by repeated acts that are grounds for arrest, disregard for the welfare of others, [and] repeated lying." Dr. De Crisce acknowledged E.S. "has no doubt achieved significant treatment gains in the last four years," but concluded

Even after four years of treatment, [E.S.]

[1] does not present a forthcoming account as to the level of violence towards women in most of his sexual, and non-sexual assaults . . . [;] [2] is not forthcoming about peeping and fetishistic behaviors that he has variously reported to different evaluators . . . [;] [3] is not forthcoming about the strong likelihood of sexual motivation in his other non-sexual burglaries involving adult women, who were alone with him at the time of the crime . . . [;] [and 4] has not participated to a significant degree, in the 12 step program of recovery, which is the mainstay of community-based abstinence.

Based on these factors, Dr. De Crisce determined "there remains significant concern about [E.S.'s] ability to control the sexually violent behavior . . . to warrant ...


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