Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 04 CR 80005
Honorable Dennis J. Porter, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE LAMPKIN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Reyes and Justice Hall concurred
in the judgment and opinion.
1 Respondent, Steven Tunget, was adjudicated a sexually
violent person (SVP) as defined by the Sexually Violent
Persons Commitment Act (Act) (725 ILCS 207/1 et seq.
(West 2008)) and subsequently institutionalized in a secure
setting. The trial court later conditionally released
respondent; however, the conditional release was revoked on
the State's petition. On appeal, respondent contends that
the trial court erred in revoking his conditional release and
recommitting him to institutional care. Respondent
additionally claims that the trial court abused its
discretion in allowing expert testimony that relied upon a
nonstatutory standard. Based on the following, we affirm.
3 Respondent, who is 61 years old, was diagnosed with
paraphilia, not otherwise specified; voyeurism;
exhibitionism; and antisocial personality disorder. He was
detained under the Act in 2004 after a finding that it was
substantially probable that he would engage in acts of sexual
violence. Thereafter, while institutionalized in a secure
setting, respondent participated in the Illinois Department
of Human Services' (DHS) sex offender treatment program.
4 On October 6, 2010, respondent filed a petition for
conditional release. At the hearing on respondent's
petition, Dr. Kimberly Weitl, a DHS evaluator, and Dr. Lesley
Kane, an examiner appointed by the court, recommended
respondent's conditional release. The trial court granted
respondent's petition. DHS then prepared a conditional
release plan requiring respondent to agree to abide by the 52
listed conditions of release. On August 20, 2012, the trial
court approved the conditional release plan, which respondent
agreed to by signing and initialing the plan next to each
condition. In relevant part, the conditional release plan
required that respondent (1) refrain from having any contact
with other sex offenders outside the treatment setting
without prior approval (Condition 16), (2) refrain from
having any contact with a minor child without prior approval
(Condition 17), (3) "provide a daily log of activities
and monthly written reports as directed by the DHS case
management team" (Condition 27), (4) comply with all
conditions imposed by the conditional release agent and DHS
case management team to restrict high-risk situations and
access to potential victims (Condition 28), and (5) refrain
from having anyone in his apartment without prior approval
5 Respondent remained on conditional release until the State
filed a petition to revoke that status. The petition was
filed on July 15, 2015, and respondent was detained in a
secure facility pending a hearing. On August 24, 2015, the
State filed an amended petition to revoke respondent's
conditional release, alleging he violated six conditions of
his conditional release plan, namely, Conditions 11 (become
self supporting and gainfully employed), 16, 17, 27, 28, and
50. The State's petition additionally alleged
respondent's conditional release should be revoked to
protect the safety of others. More specifically, the State
alleged respondent (1) engaged in inappropriate conversations
with women in the community and misinterpreted the
women's intentions as sexual advancements, (2) failed to
make sufficient progress in treatment, (3) frequently and
intently watched his neighbors, and (4) consistently failed
to be honest with his case management team. Prior to the
hearing, respondent moved to strike the allegation that he
violated Condition 11 where the State failed to present a
sufficient claim to support revocation of his conditional
release on that basis. The trial court granted
6 The State presented three witnesses at the revocation
hearing: Stephen Glazier, respondent's conditional
release agent; Rhonda Meacham, respondent's conditional
release treatment provider; and Dr. Weitl, who had been
conducting periodic reexaminations of respondent for eight
years. Prior to the hearing, respondent attempted to bar Dr.
Weitl's testimony, arguing she had no relevant admissible
opinion because her opinion differed from the statutory
standard for conditional release and she inappropriately
destroyed the notes she took during her consultation with
Meacham and interview with respondent. Respondent's
motion to bar Dr. Weitl from testifying was denied.
7 At the hearing, Glazier testified that, as respondent's
conditional release agent, he monitored and supervised
respondent while on conditional release through home contact
visits and surveillance. Glazier used a written log to
memorialize his contacts with respondent and wrote violation
reports when respondent violated a condition of his release.
Glazier stated that respondent was assigned an apartment by
DHS and was limited to home confinement, like all SVPs, when
8 Glazier testified that he completed a violation report on
September 4, 2013, as a result of respondent violating
Condition 17 of his release plan. More specifically,
Condition 17 prohibited respondent from having any contact
with a minor without prior approval, yet respondent sent a
homemade birthday card to the daughter of his former
girlfriend, Takika Winston. Prior to respondent's
conditional release, he was explicitly told that he could not
have any contact with Takika's daughter. Takika's
daughter was believed to be 16 years old when respondent sent
her the birthday card. Respondent told Glazier that he placed
the card in the mailbox as he exited his apartment to meet
Glazier. Respondent acknowledged that he was "not
supposed" to mail the card.
9 Glazier additionally testified that, on October 20, 2014,
he completed another violation report, resulting from three
condition violations. The first was for a violation of
Condition 16, i.e., unauthorized contact outside of
the treatment setting with a sex offender. Glazier explained
that, while conducting an unannounced home visit, he was
standing outside respondent's apartment when he heard
respondent's voice engaged in a conversation. Glazier
knocked on the apartment door, but respondent failed to
answer. Glazier proceeded to call respondent two times
without success. Glazier continued knocking on the apartment
door until respondent eventually opened the door. After
looking through respondent's apartment and failing to
find any occupants, Glazier inquired whether respondent had
been on the phone. Respondent said no. Respondent
acknowledged that he had been speaking through the window to
another SVP named Troy K. in the adjacent building.
Respondent initially reported that he spoke to Troy K. a few
times; however, after further questioning, respondent
admitted that he had been speaking to Troy K. twice a day for
a few months. According to respondent, he and Troy K. engaged
in "general conversation." They did not plan
anything illegal or commit any sex offenses. Glazier
testified that respondent previously requested authorization
through the program to speak to Troy K., but was denied
approval to do so. Respondent acknowledged he was not
supposed to speak to Troy K. outside the treatment setting,
yet he did anyway. Glazier stated that he was responsible for
transporting respondent and Troy K. to treatment because they
were on restricted movement or home confinement. Glazier
drove them together to treatment, as well as to the grocery
store and Laundromat.
10 Glazier testified that the second violation included in
the October 20, 2014, report was for respondent's
violation of Condition 27 because he failed to include his
communications with Troy K. in his daily log of activity.
Glazier described the daily event log as a log kept by the
individual on conditional release providing the details of
his or her daily activities, including finances,
communications (in person and by telephone), reading habits,
and television programs watched. The daily logs were
collected and reviewed on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Glazier explained that the purpose of the daily logs was
transparency by the SVP with the conditional release team.
According to Glazier, respondent only logged two dates,
October 10, 2014, and October 15, 2014, for having
communicated with Troy K.
11 According to Glazier, the third conditional release
violation included in the October 20, 2014, violation report
was for Condition 28, which required respondent to comply
with all special conditions imposed by the conditional
release agent and DHS management team to restrict him from
high-risk situations and access to potential victims.
Respondent violated the condition by communicating with Troy
K., despite Glazier's prior instruction to not have
outside contact with the fellow SVP. As a result of the
conditional release violations, respondent's windows were
covered on the side of the apartment adjacent to Troy
K.'s building. Thereafter, in January 2015, respondent
was relocated to another apartment.
12 Glazier further testified that, on April 25, 2015, he
wrote a letter of admonishment resulting from a phone message
he received from respondent. In the message, respondent
informed Glazier that he was in his kitchen with the door
open to get fresh air, which had been approved, when a
neighbor knocked on his door. The female neighbor asked if
she could walk through respondent's apartment to get to
her front door because she was locked out. In the letter of
admonishment, Glazier cited Condition 50 because respondent
did not have prior authorization to have anyone in his
apartment. Glazier added that respondent called him several
times after leaving the initial voicemail. Respondent did not
attempt to touch the neighbor. Glazier explained that
respondent received a letter of admonishment and not a
violation because he immediately reported the interaction.
13 Meacham testified that she was a licensed clinical social
worker and sex offender treatment provider and evaluator.
Meacham provided respondent's individual and group
therapy while he was on conditional release. Meacham was
deemed an expert in sex offender treatment.
14 Meacham testified that respondent admitted violating a
condition of his release in September 2013 by contacting
Takika's minor daughter. Respondent reported that he sent
the minor Christmas and birthday cards, as well as a letter.
According to Meacham, she had "many conversations"
(between 5 and 10) in which respondent was told that he could
not contact Takika's daughter.
15 Meacham also discussed events that occurred in June, July,
and August 2014. The first interaction involved a woman who
allegedly invited respondent to be her roommate. The second
interaction involved a woman that respondent had contact with
in connection with his medical transportation services.
Respondent reported to Meacham that he rode in the front seat
of the vehicle while being transported. The female driver
purchased ice cream for respondent and put her hand on
respondent's leg while they shared conversations about
their families. Respondent also shared information regarding
his participation in the program with the driver. According
to Meacham, respondent withheld reporting the incident for a
"period of time" and did not include the
interactions in his daily logs. Meacham testified that the
boundaries between respondent and the female driver were
inappropriate. Later, respondent further informed Meacham
that, during another transport with the same female driver,
she disclosed that she was a victim of sexual abuse.
Respondent then shared his own history of victimization with
the driver. After that interaction, respondent requested that
he only receive male medical transport drivers. Despite his
request, the next time he needed to be transported, the same
female driver arrived. Respondent told Meacham that the pair
continued having personal conversations during the transport.
The third interaction involved a woman at Target. Respondent
told Meacham that he would become excited when he knew that
he was going to Target, hoping he would "run into"
the woman. Meacham testified that respondent's behaviors
were concerning because he lacked the ability to establish
boundaries regardless of the consequences. Meacham added that
she was concerned with respondent's decision to withhold
information from his care providers.
16 Meacham further testified that respondent engaged in
concerning behavior in September 2014. At that time,
respondent reported his observations of other individuals in
his apartment complex to the building management. Respondent
"seemed to have a great deal of information about some
of the tenants in the building." This was concerning in
light of respondent's voyeurism and exhibitionism
diagnoses, as well as in terms of respondent's own safety
because he was witnessing alleged criminal behavior within
the building. In fact, in October 2014, respondent reported
witnessing a drug transaction through his window. He called
the police and "watched everything unfold."
17 Meacham added that, also in October 2014, she learned
respondent had been communicating with another client in the
conditional release program who was housed in the adjacent
building. The pair had been communicating once or twice per
day for a "couple of months" through the window.
Meacham testified that the communications were violations of
respondent's conditional release. According to Meacham,
the pair had general conversations about their day and what
they watched on television; however, they had a couple of
"fairly negative conversations about their conditional
18 Respondent additionally reported to Meacham that, in
October 2014, he had an interaction with a nurse at a
doctor's appointment. Respondent believed the nurse
"gave him a lingering handshake." According to
Meacham, respondent interpreted the handshake as an