IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF R.S., SVP-482-07
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued April 16, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-482-07.
Joan D. Van Pelt, Designated Counsel, argued the cause for appellant R.S. (Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney; Ms. Van Pelt, on the brief).
David L. DaCosta, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent State of New Jersey (Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney; Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Mr. DaCosta, on the brief).
Before Judges Messano and Mantineo.
Appellant R.S. appeals from the Law Division's July 16, 2008 judgment continuing his involuntary commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) under the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. He argues the State presented insufficient evidence to support his continued commitment. We affirm.
The predicate offense that resulted in R.S.'s commitment arose on September 27, 1997, after R.S. was released from prison in the spring of 1996 for another crime. On that day, R.S. and his co-defendant carjacked two victims at gunpoint. Thereafter, the police attempted to pull the vehicle over for speeding and a high speed car chase ensued that ultimately resulted in a crash. Subsequently, the police recovered a semiautomatic gun from the vehicle.
On June 5, 1998, R.S. pled guilty to carjacking, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2, and was sentenced to a twenty-year prison term with a ten-year period of parole ineligibility. On December 27, 2007, approximately a week prior to R.S.'s parole eligibility date, the State filed a Petition for Civil Commitment under the SVPA.
On January 4, 2008, R.S. was temporarily committed to the STU. After a probable cause hearing, the judge found R.S. to be a sexually violent predator with a high likelihood of re-offending, and committed him to the STU for a period of twelve months. A full hearing was scheduled within twenty days, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.29; however, appellant waived the twenty-day hearing to pursue an interlocutory appeal. The hearing was thereafter set for a later date that year.
The present review was conducted on June 23 and 24, at which time Judge Serena Perretti considered the expert testimony and written reports of psychiatrist Howard Gilman, M.D., psychologist Timothy Foley, Ph.D. and psychologist Rosemary Stewart, Psy.D.
According to the testimony and reports presented, R.S. has had issues with sexual deviancy since as early as 1979, when he was charged with aggravated sexual assault and interference with custody of a child as a result of his relationship with a minor, W.W., who was eleven years old at the time. R.S. pled guilty to second-degree ...