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In re Commitment of Tittelbach

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

February 4, 2015

In re COMMITMENT OF JOHN TITTELBACH
v.
John Tittelbach, Respondent-Appellant

As Corrected February 6, 2015.

Page 649

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 99-MR-285. Honorable Terence M. Sheen, Judge, Presiding.

SYLLABUS

The trial court's order denying respondent's petition filed under section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure seeking relief from an order recommitting him to the Department of Human Services pursuant to a 1999 judgment adjudicating him a sexually violent person was affirmed, notwithstanding revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by the clinical psychologist who evaluated respondent that respondent claimed supported his release from commitment, since an examination of the revisions by the appellate court supported the court's rejection of respondent's argument that the revisions meant that respondent no longer had a mental disorder.

For Appellant: William G. Worobec, Law Office of William G. Worobec, P.C., Wheaton.

For The People: Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Chicago (Carolyn E. Shapiro, Solicitor General, Michael M. Glick, Jean M. Godfrey, Assistant Attorneys General, Of Counsel).

PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHOSTOK delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Hutchinson and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 650

SCHOSTOK, J.

[¶1] Respondent, John Tittelbach, appeals a judgment denying his petition for relief, under section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2012)), from an order recommitting him to the custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS). The recommitment order was based on a 1999 judgment that adjudicated respondent a sexually violent person (SVP) as defined by the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (Act) (725 ILCS 207/1 et seq. (West 1998)) and committed him to a treatment detention facility (TDF) under the custody of DHS. We affirm.

[¶2] In 1980, respondent pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent liberties with a child (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, § 11-4(a)), committed against his then-stepdaughters. He was sentenced to four years' probation. In 1997, a jury convicted him of one count of criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12-13(a)(3) (West 1994)), committed against his girlfriend's minor daughter. He was sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

[¶3] On October 1, 1999, shortly after respondent was released from prison, he was adjudicated an SVP and committed. At all pertinent times, the Act has defined an SVP as " a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense *** 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." 725 ILCS 207/5(f) (West 1998). Respondent appealed the judgment. This court affirmed. In re Detention of Tittlebach,[1] 324 Ill.App.3d 6, 754 N.E.2d 484, 257 Ill.Dec. 826 (2001).

[¶4] On January 22, 2010, respondent petitioned for conditional release under section 60 of the Act (725 ILCS 207/60 (West 2010)). On March 29, 2012, based on a hearing at which the court heard testimony from clinical psychologists David Suire (for the State) and William Hillman (for respondent), the court denied the petition. The court held that the State proved that respondent was still an SVP and had not made sufficient progress for conditional release.

[¶5] The court explained that it had, in pertinent respects, credited Suire's testimony over that of Hillman. As pertinent to this appeal, Suire had testified as follows. Respondent's two convictions of indecent liberties with a child were based on acts that he had committed against his stepdaughters when one was 12 and the other was 13, but the victims reported that he had steadily abused them since they were 5 and 7, respectively. Respondent's conviction of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's daughter was based on acts he committed in 1985 and 1986, but he had sexual contact with her into 1994, and she " estimated conservatively that he had 'offended against her' 600 times." In re Commitment of Tittelbach, 2013 IL App. (2d) 120463-U, ¶ 7.

[¶6] Suire testified further that he had evaluated respondent yearly since 2006. In 2011, he diagnosed respondent with three mental disorders, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, Text Revision (American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic

Page 651

and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, DSM-IV-TR (2000)) (DSM-IV-TR) that predisposed him to engage in future sexual violence: pedophilia; alcohol abuse; and personality disorder not otherwise specified with antisocial and narcissistic features. Tittelbach, 2013 IL App. (2d) 120463-U, ¶ 8. According to Suire, respondent was substantially likely to reoffend if not confined ( id. ¶ 11), and he had not made sufficient progress to be released ( id. ¶ 7). In 2013, this court affirmed. We held in part that the State had proved that respondent had not made sufficient progress to be released. Id. ¶ 36.

[¶7] Meanwhile, on July 3, 2012, the State moved to reexamine respondent and continue his commitment. The petition attached Suire's report of June 20, 2012, which concluded that respondent still suffered from one or more mental disorders that affected his emotional or volitional capacity and predisposed him to engage in acts of sexual violence; that these mental disorders made it substantially probable that he would engage in more acts of sexual violence; and that he had not made sufficient progress to be released. Suire diagnosed respondent with mental disorders " from the [DSM-IV-TR]," including " 302.2 Pedophilia, Sexually Attracted to Females, Nonexclusive Type" ; " 305.00 Alcohol Abuse, in a Controlled Environment" ; ...


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