09 Feb Virginia: Sexual Abuse – a Lawyer’s Commitment
In Rhoten v. Commonwealth, No. 130456, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed a civil commitment under the Sexually Violent Predators Act (“SUPA”), Va. Code Ann. §37.2-900, et seq. Id. at 12. Rhoten held that res judicia did not prohibit an inmate “determined in a prior  proceeding not be a sexually violent predator [under SVPA] from being subjected to reevaluation and redetermination of his status as a sexually violent predator [in 2011] at the conclusion of a subsequent period of reincarceration for the same sex offenses [for non-sexual parole violation].” Id. at 1.
“We note that evaluation is triggered under the Act by incarceration for a sexually violent offense and impending release from incarceration, not by conviction of a new sexually violent offense,” observed Rhoten. Id. at 10. “The statutory language necessitates an evaluation of the prisoner’s current mental health status,” id. at 11 (emphasis in original); and “the Act assumes the mental health of a sexually violent offender may change over time.” Id. at 11-12.
“Rhoten’s mental health condition in 2011 could not have been litigated in the 2005 proceeding,” stated Rhoten. “The 2011 petition was not dependent upon the same evidence as the 2005 proceeding, nor did the 2011 petition arise from the same conduct, transaction or occurrence.” Id. at 12.
Mr. Waterman handles select civil cases of personal injury for sexual abuse victims and other crime victims against their perpetrators for compensatory and punitive or exemplary damages. Typically such perpetrators have pleaded guilty one or more criminal charges.
THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR REQUIRES ALL LAWYERS TO POST THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMERS ON ALL CASE-RELATED POSTS. MR. WATERMAN’S CASE RESULTS AND CLIENT TESTIMONIALS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEY DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE BY HIM.