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In re Civil Commitment of G.M.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 18, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF G.M. SVP-196-01.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued May 29, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-196-01.

Patrick Madden, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant G.M. (Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney).

Lucy Fritz, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent State of New Jersey (Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney).

Before Judges Messano and Lihotz.

PER CURIAM

G.M., who is now fifty-one years of age, appeals from a June 19, 2012 judgment continuing his involuntary commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to - 27.38. We affirm.

I.

G.M.'s criminal behavior began in the 1980s when G.M. was arrested and convicted, on separate occasions, for burglary, larceny, and simple assault. G.M. was first charged with a sexual offense when arrested for sexual assault on two occasions in 1989; these charges were dismissed. On November 12, 1992, G.M. was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a three-year-old child. On December 9, 1993, G.M. pled guilty to third-degree child abuse admitting he digitally penetrated the child his paramour was babysitting and attempted to touch her one-year-old sister. He requested to withdraw his guilty plea, stating he took the plea to prevent his paramour from being charged. The motion was denied and he was sentenced to three years in prison.

The predicate offense for which G.M. is currently committed related to an October 24, 1997 arrest for aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and child abuse. G.M.'s victim, his daughter, then age eight, was discovered to have venereal warts. The child stated she had been sexually abused by G.M. in 1993. According to the victim, she was lying on her mother's bed reading a book when G.M. took off his clothes, pulled off the victim's pants, and penetrated her vagina and anus with his penis. When the victim began to cry, G.M. placed a sock in her mouth. G.M. also ejaculated in the child's mouth. The victim was fearful of reporting the incident because G.M. threatened violence if she told anyone. G.M. pled guilty to second-degree sexual assault on September 16, 1998, for which he was sentenced to a five-year term of confinement, to be served at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC).

At the expiration of his criminal sentence, the State moved for G.M.'s civil commitment under the SVPA. A temporary order of commitment was entered on September 6, 2001, followed by an order of commitment on July 8, 2002. Annual review hearings have resulted in the continuation of G.M.'s civil commitment.

The most recent review of G.M.'s status was held on June 18, 2012, before Judge Philip M. Freedman. Testimonial evidence included only the State's expert, Howard Gilman, M.D., a psychiatrist. Additionally, documentary evidence was admitted, which included G.M.'s STU treatment notes and the annual report of the STU's Treatment Progress Review Committee (TPRC) prepared on behalf of G.M.

G.M. refused to be interviewed by Dr. Gilman. Consequently, Dr. Gilman reviewed available documents customarily used by experts in the field to ...


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