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In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of R.G.

November 2, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF R.G., SVP-83-00.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-83-00.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued October 15, 2012

Before Judges Parrillo and Sabatino.

R.G. appeals from a March 16, 2012 order of the Law Division continuing his involuntary civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) for custody, care, and treatment as a sexually violent predator under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. We affirm.

R.G. is currently thirty-two years of age. In January 1997, he pled guilty as a juvenile to three predicate offenses of aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a), upon his three young cousins, ages four to seven, in June 1996. He was initially committed under the SVPA in May 2000. Subsequent reviews were held, and R.G.'s commitment was continued after each of those reviews.

The present review was conducted on March 16, 2012. At this hearing, the State presented expert testimony from Dr. Marta P. Scott, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Debra Roquet, a psychologist and member of the Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC) within the STU. R.G. testified on his own behalf, but presented no other testimony.

Because R.G. refused to be interviewed, Dr. Scott relied on numerous other sources of information, including previous psychiatric and psychosexual evaluations of R.G., TPRC reviews, progress notes from the STU, and police reports. She diagnosed R.G. with pedophilia, alcohol abuse, and antisocial personality disorder, with a provisional diagnosis of sexual sadism.

According to Dr. Scott:

The diagnosis of Pedophilia predisposes [R.G.] for future acts of sexual violence, it is persistent, and does not spontaneously remit.

However, the infliction of pain, suffering or humiliation did not seem to be a central element in [R.G.'s] documented sex offenses, thus the provisional diagnosis for Sexual Sadism. As of note, [R.G.] was apprehended at a very early age (16), given more opportunity he might have eventually played out these violent fantasies in more detail.

Moreover, the fact that R.G. committed the predicate sexual offenses at such a young age indicated to Dr. Scott a pathology that is deeper ingrained and thus has a poorer prognosis.

With respect to the diagnosis of alcohol abuse, Dr. Scott noted that "[w]hile alcohol abuse in and of itself does not predispose one for sexual violence, it may increase the risk of reoffending as substances are known to disinhibit sexual behavior." And as to ...


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