from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit,
Whiteside County, Illinois. Circuit No. 01-MR-33 Honorable
Stanley B. Steiner, Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE HOLDRIDGE delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Lytton and McDade concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
HOLDRIDGE PRESIDING JUSTICE.
1 In 2002, the respondent, Terrence Galba, was found to be a
sexually violent person (SVP) and ordered committed to a
secure facility under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment
Act (SVP Act) 725 ILCS 207/1 et seq. (West 2014).
Respondent has received periodic reexaminations by an expert
as required by section 55(a) of the SVP Act (725 ILCS
207/55(a) (West 2014). Following respondent's most recent
reevaluation, the People filed a motion for a finding of no
probable cause to believe that respondent was not still an
SVP. The circuit court granted the People's motion on
August 4, 2015. Respondent appeals from the court's
order. We affirm.
3 Pursuant to section 55(a) of the SVP Act, respondent has
been reexamined periodically since his initial commitment.
725 ILCS 207/55 (West 2014). On April 7, 2015, following the
most recent reexamination, the People filed a motion for a
finding of no probable cause to believe that respondent was
not still an SVP. Respondent neither waived his right to
petition for discharge nor filed a petition for conditional
release pursuant to section 60 of the SVP Act. 725 ILCS
207/60 (West 2014). In support of their motion, the People
submitted the reevaluation report of Dr. Steven Gaskell,
wherein he concluded, to a reasonable degree of psychological
certainty, that respondent was still an SVP and should remain
committed to a secure treatment facility.
4 Dr. Gaskell reported that he reviewed respondent's
criminal record, examined the respondent's personal and
medical and treatment histories, and conducted a clinical
interview with respondent in March 2015. Dr. Gaskell noted
that respondent was convicted in 1994 of aggravated
kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault following an
incident with a nine-year-old boy respondent had taken from a
school playground. Respondent targeted the boy by collecting
local newspaper articles about youth athletics. Dr. Gaskell
further noted that, during his March 2015 clinical interview,
respondent admitted that he is still sexually attracted to
young males between 6 and 15 years old. Respondent also
admitted to having a sexual fantasy about a child three days
prior to the clinical interview and to multiple such
fantasies during the previous year. Dr. Gaskell gave a
current diagnosis of pedophilic disorder, sexual attraction
to males, nonexclusive type. Dr. Gaskell also concluded that
respondent continued to have a specified personality disorder
with antisocial traits which "erode and disinhibit
[respondent's] already flawed judgment and behavioral
controls regarding acts of sexual violence." Dr. Gaskell
further concluded that respondent "continues to be a
substantial risk of re-offense." Dr. Gaskell scored
respondent on two actuarial risk assessment instruments and
determined that he fell within the moderate risk category,
indicating that respondent was twice as likely to reoffend as
a typical sex offender.
5 After reviewing respondent's recent treatment history,
Dr. Gaskell acknowledged that respondent actively
participated and cooperated in therapy and had recently
progressed into a new treatment phase. However, Dr. Gaskell
concluded that respondent's therapeutic progress was
"not sufficient to reduce [respondent's] substantial
risk for sexually violent reoffending."
6 Respondent did not submit evidence in opposition to the
People's motion, but moved for the appointment of an
expert evaluator. In support of that motion, respondent
testified that, two months prior, he started phase three of
the five-phase treatment program and that he believed he was
progressing toward effectively controlling his actions. On
cross-examination, respondent admitted that he had not
started his relapse prevention treatment, and he was still in
the early stages of treatment.
7 After weighing all relevant evidence, the circuit court
denied respondent's motion for appointment of an
independent evaluator. The court then found no probable cause
to warrant an evidentiary hearing on the issue of whether
respondent continued to be an SVP. Respondent timely appealed
the order of the circuit court.
9 Respondent maintains that the trial court erred in finding
that there was no probable cause to warrant an evidentiary
hearing regarding his continued commitment to a secured
treatment facility. The SVP Act requires periodic
reevaluation of committed individuals to determine whether
(1) the individual has made sufficient progress in treatment
to be conditionally released and (2) the individual's
condition has so changed since the most recent periodic
examination that he or she is no longer an SVP. 725 ILCS
207/55(a) (West 2014). At the time of the reexamination, the
committed person receives written notice of the right to
petition the court for discharge and informs the person of
the process to waive that right. 725 ILCS 207/65(b)(1) (West
2014). If the committed person does not waive the right to
petition for discharge, the court conducts a probable cause
hearing to determine if facts exist to warrant a further
hearing on the issue of whether the person remains an SVP.
725 ILCS 207/65(b)(1) (West 2014).
10 In the instant matter, respondent did not waive the right
to petition for discharge of file a petition for discharge.
Where the committed individual does not file a petition for
discharge, yet failed to waive the right to petition, the
hearing for probable cause consists only of a review of the
reexamination report and arguments of the parties. 725 ILCS
207/65(b)(1) (West 2014). The existence of probable cause is
a question of law. In re Commitment of Kirst, 2015
IL App (2d) 140532, ¶ 49. Where no testimony is heard
and the trial court is simply reviewing the documentary
evidence, we apply a de novo standard of review.
In re Commitment of Wilcoxen, 2016 IL App. (3d)
140359, ¶ 28.
11 Respondent must present sufficient evidence to warrant an
evidentiary hearing to determine whether he is "still a
sexually violent person." (Emphasis and internal
quotation marks omitted.) In re Detention of
Stanbridge, 2012 IL 112337, ¶ 67. To satisfy this
standard, respondent was required to present evidence that he
no longer meets the elements for commitment in that he (1) no
longer has a mental disease or (2) is no longer dangerous to
others because his mental disorder no longer creates a