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In re Civil Commitment of F.X.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

April 4, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF F.X.
v.
SVP-130-00.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 16, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-130-00.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant F.X.V. (Nancy C. Ferro, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent State of New Jersey

(Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Amy Beth Cohn, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Before Judges Espinosa and Koblitz.

PER CURIAM

F.X.V. appeals from the June 28, 2010 judgment that ordered his involuntary 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. F.X.V. contends that the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he requires involuntary commitment as a sexually violent predator and that he is entitled to appropriate community placement. We reject F.X.V.'s contentions and affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Philip M. Freedman in his comprehensive oral opinion.

In June 2009 we decided F.X.V.'s appeal from the previous order continuing his involuntary commitment to the STU. In Re Civil Commitment of F.X.V., Docket No. A-3467-08 (App. Div. June 19, 2009). We incorporate here F.X.V.'s extensive history of sexual offenses related in that opinion. Id., (slip op. at 1-2). We note that, although an admitted child molester of many children over many years, including his two siblings, his most recent conviction occurred in 1992 when F.X.V. was fifty-eight years old and sexually assaulted an adult blind woman he knew. At the time of the 1992 assault, F.X.V. was disabled as a result of several prior accidents. In his youth he lost an eye and fractured his skull, suffering a permanent injury to his brain. He also lost a leg in a train accident as an adult. F.X.V. has a history of substance abuse and mental illness, including a long-term psychiatric hospitalization.

F.X.V. was first committed to the STU pursuant to the SVPA in 2001. We affirmed F.X.V.'s continued involuntary commitment in our 2009 opinion, modifying the judgment to delete the requirement that "the STU shall continue to search for an appropriate transitional placement for F.X.V." Id., (slip op. at 1). We explained why that provision was inappropriate:

As to the STU being ordered to continue its search for appropriate transitional placement, we find that to be premature with respect to F.X.V. The issue raised by him, that the court should order the State to find and fund an appropriate place for his discharge, is (1) unwarranted because F.X.V. has been found to still be highly likely to re-offend and, therefore, not eligible for release, and (2) beyond our authority. The STU is not recommending conditional discharge because F.X.V. meets the statutory criteria for such, but rather is simply attempting to transfer him to another facility because he has received the "maximum benefit of treatment" at the STU. All parties have agreed such a facility does not exist.

[Id., (slip op. at 10)]

In June 2010 the State presented the testimony of a psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Kunz, M.D. and a psychologist, Rosemarie Stewart, Psy.D. Dr. Kunz interviewed F.X.V., reviewed his entire file, and diagnosed him with pedophilia and other sexual and mental health disorders, as well as substance abuse disorders. Dr. Kunz testified that the combination of these disorders rendered F.X.V. at a high risk to sexually reoffend. Dr. Kunz also opined that F.X.V. would benefit from further treatment within the STU. Dr. Kunz further stated that F.X.V. could ...


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