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In re Commitment of Canada

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

June 14, 2018

In re THE COMMITMENT OF JON CANADA, a Sexually Violent Person
v.
Jon Canada, Respondent-Appellant The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee,

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Livingston County No. 12MR23 Honorable Robert M. Travers, Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Knecht and Cavanagh concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          STEIGMANN JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 In August 2014, a jury found respondent, Jon Canada, to be a sexually violent person. In June 2015, the trial court committed respondent to the custody of the Department of Human Services for control, care, and treatment until such time that he was no longer a sexually violent person.

         ¶ 2 In June 2016, Dr. Richard Travis conducted a psychological reexamination of respondent. Travis concluded that respondent had not made sufficient progress in treatment to be conditionally released. Travis also concluded that respondent remained a sexually violent person.

         ¶ 3 Later in June 2016, the trial court scheduled a probable cause hearing to determine whether facts exist to believe that respondent was no longer a sexually violent person. The State then filed a motion for a finding of no probable cause.

         ¶ 4 In August 2016, respondent filed a petition for conditional release. In December 2016, the trial court appointed Dr. Luis Rosell as respondent's independent evaluator. Rosell ultimately concluded that respondent made sufficient progress in treatment to be conditionally released.

         ¶ 5 In May 2017, the trial court held a probable cause hearing. The court ultimately concluded (1) there was probable cause to believe that respondent remained a sexually violent person and (2) there was no probable cause to believe that respondent made sufficient progress in treatment to be conditionally released.

         ¶ 6 Respondent appeals, arguing that there was probable cause to believe that he made sufficient progress in treatment to be conditionally released. We disagree and affirm.

         ¶ 7 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 8 A. The Civil Confinement of Respondent

         ¶ 9 In September 2009, the State charged respondent with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl. In September 2010, respondent pled guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse. 720 ILCS 5/12-16(d) (West 2008). The trial court sentenced petitioner to three years in prison.

         ¶ 10 In March 2012, the State petitioned to commit respondent under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (Act). 725 ILCS 207/15 (West 2012). Under the Act, a sexually violent person is an individual who (1) has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, (2) suffers from a mental disorder, and (3) is substantially probable to engage in acts of sexual violence. Id. § 5(f). In this context, a mental disorder is "a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity that predisposes a person to engage in acts of sexual violence." Id. § 5(b). Substantially probable means " 'much more likely than not.' " In re Commitment of Curtner, 2012 IL App (4th) 110820, ¶ 37, 972 N.E.2d 351.

         ¶ 11 In August 2014, a jury found respondent to be a sexually violent person. In June 2015, the trial court committed respondent to the custody of the Department of Human Services for control, care, and treatment until such time that he was no longer a sexually violent person. Respondent appealed, and this court affirmed. In re Commitment of Canada, 2016 IL App (4th) 150767-U (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

         ¶ 12 B. The State's Reexamination of Respondent

         ¶ 13 In June 2016, Travis conducted a psychological reexamination of respondent. The purpose of the reexamination was to determine (1) whether respondent made sufficient progress in treatment to be conditionally released and (2) whether respondent remained a sexually violent person. 725 ILCS 207/55(a) (West 2016).

         ¶ 14 Travis concluded that respondent had not made sufficient progress in treatment to be conditionally released. He noted that respondent had "just begun sex offender treatment" and that he still needs "intensive treatment." Travis further noted that although "his participation in treatment is excellent to date, he is only in phase two of the five-phase treatment ...


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