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In Re: the Detention of Kevin W.Stanbridge, A Sexually v. Kevin W. Stanbridge

March 30, 2011

IN RE: THE DETENTION OF KEVIN W.STANBRIDGE, A SEXUALLY VIOLENT PERSON,
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
KEVIN W. STANBRIDGE,
RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Adams County No. 05MR45 Honorable William O. Mays, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

Opinion

JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Presiding Justice Knecht and Justice McCullough concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

In April 2009, respondent, Kevin W. Stanbridge, filed an amended petition for discharge from the custody and control of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) pursuant to section 70 of the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (725 ILCS 207/70 (West 2008)). In October 2009, the State filed a motion for finding of no probable cause based upon review of reevaluation report under section 55 of the Act (725 ILCS 207/55 (West 2008)). Following a January 2010 hearing on the parties' respective filings, the trial court (1) denied respondent's amended petition and (2) granted the State's motion, finding that no probable cause was shown to warrant an evidentiary hearing to determine whether respondent remained a sexually violent person.

Respondent appeals, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his amended petition for discharge from IDHS custody and control. We reverse and remand.

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Circumstances Surrounding Respondent's Detention

In November 1999, the State charged respondent (then 35 years old) with aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(d) (West 1998)), alleging that he committed an act of sexual penetration with a 14 year old by placing his mouth on the boy's penis. Following a jury trial, respondent was convicted, and the trial court sentenced him to seven years in prison. In May 2004, this court reversed respondent's conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. People v. Stanbridge, 348 Ill. App. 3d 351, 810 N.E.2d 88 (2004).

Following an April 2005 retrial, a jury convicted respondent of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(d) (West 1998)). Respondent appealed, and this court affirmed that conviction. People v. Stanbridge, No. 4-05-0585 (June 14, 2007) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

In May 2005--while respondent's appeal in case No. 4-05-0585 was pending--the State petitioned the trial court to detain respondent pursuant to the Act. The State alleged that (1) respondent suffered from the following mental disorders: (a) pedophilia, sexually attracted to males, nonexclusive type, (b) paraphilia, not otherwise specified, sexually attracted to adolescent males, and (c) antisocial personality disorder; and (2) because of respondent's disorders, he was predisposed to commit future acts of sexual violence. The court later found probable cause to believe that respondent was a sexually violent person and ordered him detained in an IDHS facility pending trial.

Following an October 2007 trial on the State's petition, a jury adjudicated respondent a sexually violent person as defined in section 5(f) of the Act (725 ILCS 207/5(f) (West 2004)). In February 2008, the trial court ordered respondent committed to a secure facility for institutional care until "such time as [r]espondent is no longer a sexually violent person."

B. The Parties' Respective Filings

In April 2009, respondent filed an amended petition for discharge from IDHS custody and control pursuant to section 70 of the Act (725 ILCS 207/70 (West 2008)). At a hearing conducted later that same month, the trial court ordered a psychological evaluation of respondent, which was later conducted by Dr. Kirk Witherspoon, a clinical and forensic psychologist.

In October 2009, the State filed a motion for finding of no probable cause based upon review of reevaluation report under section 55 of the Act (725 ILCS 207/55 (West 2008)). Attached to that motion was a 30-page report describing the 18-month psychological reevaluation of respondent conducted by Dr. Edward Smith, a clinical psychologist.

In January 2010, Witherspoon filed a 32-page amended psychological evaluation detailing his findings.

C. The Evidence Presented at Respondent's Probable-Cause Hearing

At a January 2010 probable-cause hearing, the trial court considered (1) respondent's amended petition for discharge from IDHS custody and control and (2) the State's motion for finding of no probable cause based upon review of reevaluation report. The evidence presented at that hearing originated from two written psychological evaluations of respondent conducted by Witherspoon and Smith.

We note that in the following general summaries of the parties' expert evaluations, we deliberately omit the specific details of the respective psychological testing methodologies used because such specificity is not necessary to the resolution of the issue before us--that is, whether Witherspoon's unchallenged psychological evaluation was ...


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