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In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of J.S.D.

November 13, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF J.S.D., SVP-115-00.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-115-00.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued October 15, 2012

Before Judges Parrillo and Fasciale.

J.S.D. appeals from a March 30, 2012 order of the Law Division continuing his involuntary civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) 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.

Born on January 5, 1954, J.S.D., has an extensive offense history that includes charges for twelve sexual offenses resulting in nine convictions for sexual assault. His victim profile is varied, including adult females, underage females, and prepubescent children. His contact offenses range from vaginal-penile rapes to frotteuristic offenses in which he would rub his genitals against unsuspecting female strangers until he ejaculated. He has utilized weapons or the threat of weapon in multiple offenses.

J.S.D. was evaluated and twice determined eligible for sentencing under the New Jersey Sex Offender Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -11, and, therefore, eligible for treatment at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC), where he served two sentences, for a total of approximately four years. J.S.D. had reoffended soon after being paroled from both ADTC sentences.

The predicate offense occurred on January 25, 1990, when J.S.D. sexually assaulted a sixteen-year-old female, who reported that J.S.D. forced her from a pay phone into a gas station bathroom, where he threatened her with a stick and forced her to engage in vaginal intercourse. As a result, on February 26, 1992, J.S.D. was found guilty of one count of kidnapping and one count of criminal sexual contact and sentenced to a ten-year prison term.

At the expiration of his prison term, J.S.D. was initially committed to the STU on December 20, 2000. Since then, J.S.D. has had multiple review hearings, in which the court found he satisfied the requirements for continued commitment.

The present appeal arises from J.S.D.'s most recent review hearing on March 30, 2012, at the close of which the trial judge continued his involuntary commitment. At the hearing, the State presented the testimony of Dr. Pogos Voskanian, a psychiatrist, and Dr. James Canataro, a member of STU's Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC). Dr. Voskanian diagnosed J.S.D. with frotteurism, a disorder in which a person derives sexual gratification from rubbing his genitals against another person, usually in a crowd. The victims of J.S.D.'s frotteurism number between thirty and forty. Although Dr. Voskanian did not diagnose J.S.D. with pedophilia, he noted the fact that J.S.D. prefers young, post-pubescent girls suggests pedophilia.

J.S.D.'s primary sexual activity is rubbing; intercourse or oral sex are secondary. According to Dr. Voskanian, J.S.D. is not able to control himself, as evidenced by his numerous convictions, even after treatment at ADTC. J.S.D. has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is on medication.

Dr. Voskanian testified that J.S.D. "puts a lot of effort into image management," and tries to present himself in a better light by denying his fantasies, pathology, and actions. As to the predicate offense, J.S.D. gave conflicting accounts and claimed it was consensual. Dr. Voskanian concluded that J.S.D. has not made "sufficient progress" in his treatment and remains at a high risk to reoffend in the foreseeable future based on a: [l]ifelong history of offending. No response to measures taken to impede the sexually violent behavior. Nothing worked to decrease it. Nothing worked to contain it. Twice at the ADTC, incarcerations, multiple arrests, eight convictions.

Nothing worked. Numerous victims. It did not stop [J.S.D.]. He continues to fantasize about similar activities. He cannot ejaculate unless he changes his fantasy to aggressive fantasy. And that speaks of itself that the ...


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