IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF N.M.W., SVP-279-02.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued November 12, 2013.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. SVP-279-02.
Patrick Madden, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant
N.M.W. (Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney) Erin Marie Greene, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent State of New Jersey (John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney).
Before Judges Parrillo and Kennedy.
N.M.W. appeals from the March 7, 2013 order 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. Appellant argues that the trial court erred in giving undue credit to the State's expert witnesses, and that the trial court erred in determining that N.M.W. was highly likely to commit acts of sexual violence in the future. N.M.W. asserted during oral argument that the State failed to show that he currently suffers from a mental condition which makes it likely that he will act out with sexual violence. Having reviewed the record and considered the arguments, we affirm.
N.M.W. is thirty-one years of age and has been civilly committed to the STU since November 2002. N.M.W. had an extensive criminal history prior to his incarceration for the predicate offense, including fourteen arrests for non-sexual offenses and three arrests for sexual offenses. We have previously set forth in detail, and will not repeat here, except for the predicate offense, N.M.W.'s past history of sexually violent conduct and aberrational sexual behavior. In re Civil Commitment of N.M.W., No. A-4405-08 (App. Div. Jan. 8, 2010) (slip op. at 1-3).
On December 22, 1997, N.M.W. approached a woman from behind, pointed a gun at her, forced her into a stairwell and had forcible sexual intercourse with her. Before leaving, N.M.W. punched, kicked, choked and threw bricks at the woman. N.M.W. was fifteen at the time of the incident. Later that day, it is alleged that N.M.W. sexually assaulted and robbed another female victim at gunpoint.
On January 4, 2000, after waiver to the Law Division, N.M.W. pled guilty to an amended charge of second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2c(1), for his offenses against the first woman. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term, with a period of parole ineligibility as prescribed by the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.
While incarcerated, N.M.W. received twenty-five disciplinary infractions, nine of which were sexually related. Many of the infractions were violent, including assaulting an officer, possession of a shank, and threatening to harm others.
In October 2002, before N.M.W. was scheduled to complete his sentence, the State petitioned for his involuntary civil commitment pursuant to the SVPA. On November 19 and December 18, 2002, a final commitment hearing was held, and the court entered an order for N.M.W.'s commitment. Since his initial commitment, N.M.W. has been recommitted to the STU during all annual review hearings and this court has affirmed those recommitments. See In re Civil Commitment of N.M.W., No. A-3882-09 (App. Div. Dec. 17, 2010) (slip op. at 2-3); In re Civil Commitment of N.M.W., No. A-4102-11 (App. Div. Aug. 15, 2012) (slip op.).
At the review hearing on March 7, 2013, the State presented testimony from Dr. Alberto Goldwaser, a psychiatrist, and from Dr. Nicole Paolillo, a psychologist and a member of the Treatment Progress Review ...