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In re Detention of Allen

June 25, 2002


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 99-MR-690 Honorable Christopher C. Starck, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Byrne


Following a jury trial, respondent, William Allen, was adjudicated to be a sexually violent person pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (Act) (725 ILCS 207/1 et seq. (West 1998)). Thereafter, the court committed respondent to the custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS). On appeal, respondent argues that (1) the State's petition was untimely filed; (2) the Act is unconstitutional; and (3) he was prejudiced by the admission of evidence of sexual-propensity offenses. We affirm.


The following relevant facts are taken from the record. In 1990, respondent pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was placed on probation in case No. 90--CF--945. Respondent committed the offense when he fondled the buttocks of a seven-year-old girl and placed his finger in her vagina. The incident occurred while the victim was at his home visiting his daughter. In two separate incidents in 1993, while respondent was on probation, he sexually assaulted his 11-year-old daughter when he fondled her breasts, buttocks, and vagina while she was bathing. Both times, respondent brandished a knife and threatened to kill her if she disclosed the incidents to anyone (case No. 93--DF--1156). Based on the incidents against his daughter, respondent's probation was revoked and he was sentenced to a seven-year term of imprisonment in case No. 90--CF--945. Respondent pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual abuse in case No. 93--DF--1156, and thereafter he was sentenced to a seven-year term of imprisonment to be served consecutively to the seven-year term imposed in case No. 90--CF--945.

Respondent began serving his sentence for the convictions at the Department of Corrections (DOC). Prior to release, he was examined by Dr. Agnes Jonas. Based on her evaluation, it was determined that respondent was not to be the subject of a petition to commit. Thereafter, respondent was released and placed on mandatory supervised release (MSR) on August 29, 1998.

Respondent allegedly violated the terms of the MSR by moving back into the home of his family where the daughter, whom he had sexually assaulted, still resided. However, on November 4, 1998, the Prisoner Review Board declared respondent not to be an MSR violator. Following his second release from physical custody on November 5, 1998, respondent violated MSR on November 10, 1998, when he resumed living with his family. Respondent was scheduled to be released from the custody of the DOC on September 5, 1999, and his parole was to be continued at that time.

On July 22, 1999, while respondent remained in the custody of the DOC for violating the conditions of his parole, Dr. Jonas evaluated respondent again and this time recommended commitment. On September 1, 1999, within 90 days of the second discharge, the State filed a petition to commit.

The petition alleged that respondent had been diagnosed as suffering from pedophilia, a "Sexually Attracted to Females, Nonexclusive Type." Respondent was also diagnosed as having a personality disorder with antisocial features, seizure disorder, and psychological and environmental problems. The petition further alleged that respondent had a history of committing sexually violent offenses and that these mental disorders created a substantial probability that he would engage in acts of sexual violence in the future.

On September 28, 1999, following a hearing, the trial court determined there was probable cause to conduct further proceedings on the State's petition. The trial court also ordered that respondent be transferred to DHS for further evaluation. See 725 ILCS 207/30(c) (West 1998).

The commitment trial began on September 12, 2000. Because respondent does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence or the credibility of the witnesses, we will briefly summarize the evidence presented at the trial.

At the trial, the State presented evidence of respondent's sexually deviant behavior, previous sexual offenses, treatment progress, and the testimony of expert witnesses whose evaluations led them to recommend that respondent be committed.

The State also called Dr. Agnes Jonas and Dr. Barry Leavitt. Dr. Jonas diagnosed respondent as a pedophile, sexually attracted to females, nonexclusive type. Dr. Jonas testified to the factual basis of her diagnosis and identified several factors suggesting that respondent would commit future acts of sexual violence. In her opinion, there was a substantial probability that respondent would commit a sexually violent offense in the future.

Dr. Leavitt interviewed respondent following the probable cause hearing. He diagnosed respondent as a nonexclusive, "female type" pedophile who also suffered from other various mental disorders. Dr. Leavitt used several recognized tests to predict respondent's likelihood of reoffending. Based on respondent's interview, his history of sexual violence, mental health and disciplinary problems, his failure to successfully complete treatment programs, and the results of the psychological testing, Dr. Leavitt opined that respondent's mental disorders predisposed him to commit acts of sexual ...

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