Sexually Violent Person Laws By State

Steven Gaskell, Psy.D. Sex Offender Recidivism, Sex Offender Risk Assessment, Sex Offenders, Sexually Violent Person, Sexually Violent Predators 0 Comments

Sexually Violent Person Evaluations - Forensic Psychologist

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Steven Gaskell, Psy.D.

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Dr. Gaskell, forensic psychologist at Psycholegal Assessments, Inc., has completed over 1900 Forensic Psychological Evaluations including more than 1000 sex offender evaluations, mostly within the context of Sexually Violent Person or Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) evaluations.  Dr. Gaskell accepts referrals for sex offender evaluations of pre-probable cause and post-probable cause Sexually Violent Person and Sexually Violent Predator Evaluations nationwide, with the exception of Illinois.  Second opinion sex offender evaluations and trial consultation services are also available.  This post explores the Sexually Violent Person laws by state.  There are currently 19 states with a Sexually Violent Person or Sexually Violent Predator law.

Sexually Violent Persons Laws by State

Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. will accept Sexually Violent Person,  Sexually Violent Predator, Sexually Dangerous Person, Dangerous Sex Offender referrals on a case by case basis.

Illinois

In Illinois a Sexually Violent Person is defined in 725 ILCS 207/5 (f) as the following:  “Sexually violent person” means a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, has been adjudicated delinquent for a sexual violent offense, or has been found not guilty of a sexual violent offense by reason of insanity and who is dangerous because he or she suffers from a mental disorder that makes it substantially probable that the person will engage in acts of sexual violence.  This act became effective on January 1, 1998.

Kansas

In Kansas, Statute Chapter 59, Article 29a (59-29a02 Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators) defines a Sexually Violent Predator as:

(a)   “Sexually violent predator” means any person who has been convicted of or charged with a sexually violent offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes the person likely to engage in repeat acts of sexual violence.

(b)   “Mental abnormality” means a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity which predisposes the person to commit sexually violent offenses in a degree constituting such person a menace to the health and safety of others.

(c)   “Likely to engage in repeat acts of sexual violence” means the person’s propensity to commit acts of sexual violence is of such a degree as to pose a menace to the health and safety of others.


ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 36-3701 (2012).

“Sexually Violent Person” means a person to whom both of the following apply”

(a) Has ever been convicted of or found guilty but insane of a sexually violent offense or was charged with a sexually violent offense and was determined incompetent to stand trial.

(b) Has a mental disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence

“Mental  disorder”  means  a  paraphilia,  personality  disorder  or  conduct  disorder  or  any   combination of paraphilia, personality disorder and conduct disorder that predisposes a person to commit sexual acts to such a degree as to render the person a danger to the health and safety of others.

The court or jury shall determine beyond a reasonable doubt if the person named in the petition is a sexually violent person. If the state alleges that the sexually violent offense on which the petition for commitment is based was sexually motivated, the state shall prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged sexually violent act was sexually motivated.

California Welfare and Institutions Code = SECTION 6600-6609.3

As used in this article, the following terms have the following meanings:  

(a) (1) “Sexually violent predator” means a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and who has a diagnosed mental disorder that makes the person a danger to the health and safety of others in that it is likely that he or she will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.  

 “Diagnosed mental disorder” includes a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity that predisposes the person to the commission of criminal sexual acts in a degree constituting the person a menace to the health and safety of others.

Convictions of one or more of the crimes enumerated in this section shall constitute evidence that may support a court or jury determination that a person is a sexually violent predator, but shall not be the sole basis for the determination.

Jurors shall be admonished that they may not find a person a sexually violent predator based on prior offenses absent relevant evidence of a currently diagnosed mental disorder that makes the person a danger to the health and safety of others in that it is likely that he or she will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.

To be found a Sexually Violent Predator the level of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.

2001 Florida Statutes Title XXIX, Chapter 294 – 394.910 Legislative findings and intent.–The Legislature finds that a small but extremely dangerous number of sexually violent predators exist who do not have a mental disease or defect that renders them appropriate for involuntary treatment under the Baker Act, part I of this chapter, which is intended to provide short-term treatment to individuals with serious mental disorders and then return them to the community. In contrast to persons appropriate for civil commitment under the Baker Act, sexually violent predators generally have antisocial personality features which are unamenable to existing mental illness treatment modalities, and those features render them likely to engage in criminal, sexually violent behavior. The Legislature further finds that the likelihood of sexually violent predators engaging in repeat acts of predatory sexual violence is high. The existing involuntary commitment procedures under the Baker Act for the treatment and care of mentally ill persons are inadequate to address the risk these sexually violent predators pose to society. The Legislature further finds that the prognosis for rehabilitating sexually violent predators in a prison setting is poor, the treatment needs of this population are very long term, and the treatment modalities for this population are very different from the traditional treatment modalities for people appropriate for commitment under the Baker Act. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to create a civil commitment procedure for the long-term care and treatment of sexually violent predators.

394.912 Sexually Violent Predator

(10)  “Sexually violent predator” means any person who:

(a)  Has been convicted of a sexually violent offense; and

(b)  Suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment.

394.917  Determination; commitment procedure; mistrials; housing; counsel and costs in indigent appellate cases.

(1)  The court or jury shall determine by clear and convincing evidence whether the person is a sexually violent predator. If the determination is made by a jury, the verdict must be unanimous. If the jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the court must declare a mistrial and poll the jury. If a majority of the jury would find the person is a sexually violent predator, the state attorney may refile the petition and proceed according to the provisions of this part.

At the hearing, the state bears the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person’s mental condition remains such that it is not safe for the person to be at large and that, if released, the person is likely to engage in acts of sexual violence.

In Iowa, Code 229 (229A.2) -Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators, defines a Sexually Violent Predator as: “a person who has been convicted of or charged with a sexually violent offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality which makes the person likely to engage in predatory acts constituting sexually violent offenses, if not confined in a secure facility.”

Massachusetts General Laws Part I Title XVII Chapter 123A Section 1 defines a ”Sexually Dangerous Person”, any person who has been (i) convicted of or adjudicated as a delinquent juvenile or youthful offender by reason of a sexual offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes the person likely to engage in sexual offenses if not confined to a secure facility; (ii) charged with a sexual offense and was determined to be incompetent to stand trial and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes such person likely to engage in sexual offenses if not confined to a secure facility; or (iii) previously adjudicated as such by a court of the commonwealth and whose misconduct in sexual matters indicates a general lack of power to control his sexual impulses, as evidenced by repetitive or compulsive sexual misconduct by either violence against any victim, or aggression against any victim under the age of 16 years, and who, as a result, is likely to attack or otherwise inflict injury on such victims because of his uncontrolled or uncontrollable desires

In Minnesota, there are two civil commitments for dangerous sexual offenders Sexual Psychopathic Personality and Sexually Dangerous Person.

Minnesota Statutes CHAPTER 253D. CIVIL COMMITMENT AND TREATMENT OF SEX OFFENDERS

Subd. 15. Sexual Psychopathic Personality

“Sexual psychopathic personality” means the existence in any person of such conditions of emotional instability, or impulsiveness of behavior, or lack of customary standards of good judgment, or failure to appreciate the consequences of personal acts, or a combination of any of these conditions, which render the person irresponsible for personal conduct with respect to sexual matters, if the person has evidenced, by a habitual course of misconduct in sexual matters, an utter lack of power to control the person’s sexual impulses and, as a result, is dangerous to other persons.

Subd. 16. Sexually Dangerous Person

(a) A “sexually dangerous person” means a person who:

(1) has engaged in a course of harmful sexual conduct as defined in subdivision 8;

(2) has manifested a sexual, personality, or other mental disorder or dysfunction; and

(3) as a result, is likely to engage in acts of harmful sexual conduct as defined in subdivision 8.

(b) For purposes of this provision, it is not necessary to prove that the person has an inability to control the person’s sexual impulses.

In Missouri, Section 632.480 defines a “Sexually Violent Predator” as “any person who suffers from a mental abnormality which makes the person more likely than not to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility and who:

(a) Has pled guilty or been found guilty, or been found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 552.030 of a sexually violent offense; or

(b) Has been committed as a criminal sexual psychopath pursuant to section 632.475 and statutes in effect before August 13, 1980.”

New Hampshire Statutes Title X – Public Health (Chapter 125 – 129 – O) Chapter 135-E – Involuntary Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators defines a Sexually Violent Predator” as any person who:
(a) Has been convicted of a sexually violent offense;
(b) Suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment; and
(c) Is not eligible for involuntary admission under RSA 135-C or RSA 171-B.

New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act 30:4-27.24 defines a “Sexually Violent Predator” as a person who has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent or found not guilty by reason of insanity for commission of a sexually violent offense, or has been charged with a sexually violent offense but found to be incompetent to stand trial, and suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for control, care and treatment.

“Likely to engage in acts of sexual violence” means the propensity of a person to commit acts of sexual violence is of such a degree as to pose a threat to the health and safety of others.

“Mental abnormality” means a mental condition that affects a person’s emotional, cognitive or volitional capacity in a manner that predisposes that person to commit acts of sexual violence.

New York Laws MHY Mental Hygiene Title B – Mental Health Act Article 10 – (10.01 – 10.17) Sexual Offenders Requiring Civil Commitment or Supervision defines a “Dangerous sex offender requiring confinement” means a person who is a detained sex offender suffering from a mental abnormality involving such a strong predisposition to commit sex offenses, and such an inability to control behavior, that the person is likely to be a danger to others and to commit sex offenses if not confined to a secure treatment facility.

North Dakota, Chapter 25-03.3 Commitment of Sexually Dangerous Individuals defines a “Sexually dangerous individual” as an individual who is shown to have engaged in sexually predatory conduct and who has a congenital or acquired condition that is manifested by a sexual disorder, a personality disorder, or other mental disorder or dysfunction that makes that individual likely to engage in further acts of sexually predatory conduct which constitute a danger to the physical or mental health or safety of others. It is a rebuttable presumption that sexually predatory conduct creates a danger to the physical or mental health or safety of the victim of the conduct. For these purposes, intellectual disability is not a sexual disorder, personality disorder, or other mental disorder or dysfunction.

South Carolina Sexually Violent Predator Act

The South Carolina General Assembly found that a mentally abnormal and extremely dangerous group of sexually violent predators exists who require involuntary civil commitment in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment.  The General Assembly further found that the likelihood these sexually violent predators will engage in repeated acts of sexual violence if not treated for their mental conditions is significant.

South Carolina, Title 44 – Chapter 48 – Sexually Violent Predator Act defines a Sexually Violent Predator as a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense; and suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment.  Mental abnormality means a mental condition affecting a person’s emotional or volitional capacity that predisposes the person to commit sexually violent offenses. “Likely to engage in acts of sexual violence” means the person’s propensity to commit acts of sexual violence is of such a degree as to pose a menace to the health and safety of others.

In Texas, Title 11, Chapter 841 Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators focuses on an extremely dangerous group of sexually violent predators who have a behavioral abnormality that is not amenable to traditional mental illness treatment modalities and that makes the predators likely to engage in repeated predatory acts of sexual violence.  A “Behavioral abnormality” means a congenital or acquired condition that, by affecting a person’s emotional or volitional capacity, predisposes the person to commit a sexually violent offense, to the extent that the person becomes a menace to the health and safety of another person.  The criteria to be found a Sexually Violent Predator includes the following:

(a) A person is a sexually violent predator for the purposes of this chapter if the person:

(1) is a repeat sexually violent offender; and

(2) suffers from a behavioral abnormality that makes the person likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence.

(b) A person is a repeat sexually violent offender for the purposes of this chapter if the person is convicted of more than one sexually violent offense and a sentence is imposed for at least one of the offenses or if:

(1) the person:

(A) is convicted of a sexually violent offense, regardless of whether the sentence for the offense was ever imposed or whether the sentence was probated and the person was subsequently discharged from community supervision;

(B) enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere for a sexually violent offense in return for a grant of deferred adjudication;

(C) is adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity of a sexually violent offense; or

(D) is adjudicated by a juvenile court as having engaged in delinquent conduct constituting a sexually violent offense and is committed to the Texas Youth Commission under Section 54.04(d)(3) or (m), Family Code; and

(2) after the date on which under Subdivision (1) the person is convicted, receives a grant of deferred adjudication, is adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity, or is adjudicated by a juvenile court as having engaged in delinquent conduct, the person commits a sexually violent offense for which the person:

(A) is convicted, but only if the sentence for the offense is imposed; or

(B) is adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity.

Sex. 841.062. DETERMINATION OF PREDATOR STATUS. (a) The judge or jury shall determine whether, beyond a reasonable doubt, the person is a sexually violent predator. Either the state or the person is entitled to appeal the determination.

(b) A jury determination that the person is a sexually violent predator must be by unanimous verdict.

Sec. 841.081. CIVIL COMMITMENT OF PREDATOR. (a) If at a trial conducted under Subchapter D the judge or jury determines that the person is a sexually violent predator, the judge shall commit the person for outpatient treatment and supervision to be coordinated by the case manager.

Virginia Title 37.2 Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Chapter 9 Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators, defines a Sexually Violent Predator as any person who (i) has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, or has been charged with a sexually violent offense and is unrestorably incompetent to stand trial pursuant to § 19.2-169.3; and (ii) because of a mental abnormality or personality disorder, finds it difficult to control his predatory behavior, which makes him likely to engage in sexually violent acts.

Washington RCW Title 71 Chapter 71.09 Section 71.09.020 defines a Sexually Violent Predator as any person who has been convicted of or charged with a crime of sexual violence and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes the person likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility.

“Likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility” means that the person more probably than not will engage in such acts if released unconditionally from detention on the sexually violent predator petition. Such likelihood must be evidenced by a recent overt act if the person is not totally confined at the time the petition is filed under RCW 71.09.030
“Mental abnormality” means a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity which predisposes the person to the commission of criminal sexual acts in a degree constituting such person a menace to the health and safety of others.

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, Chapter 980 – Sexually Violent Person Commitments, defines a Sexually Violent Person as a “person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, has been adjudicated delinquent for a sexually violent offense, or has been found not guilty of or not responsible for a sexually violent offense by reason of insanity or mental disease, defect, or illness, and who is dangerous because he or she suffers from a mental disorder that makes it likely that the person will engage in one or more acts of sexual violence.”

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