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In re Civil Commitment of Cook

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

July 15, 2013

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: Ivan Jon Cook

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Olmsted County District Court File No. 55-PR-11-7817

Jacob C. Allen, Allen & Associates, Rochester, Minnesota (for appellant Cook)

Mark A. Ostrem, Olmsted County Attorney, Geoffrey A. Hjerleid, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Rochester, Minnesota (for respondent Olmsted County)

Considered and decided by Chutich, Presiding Judge; Smith, Judge; and Klaphake, Judge.

KLAPHAKE, Judge [*]

Appellant Ivan Jon Cook, who was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person (SDP), claims that there is insufficient evidence to support the finding that he is "highly likely" to engage in future acts of harmful sexual conduct and that there is a less restrictive alternative treatment program to his commitment. Because the record includes clear and convincing evidence that appellant meets the standards for commitment as an SDP and because appellant failed to establish that there is a less restrictive program available that meets his needs and is consistent with the requirements of public safety, we affirm.

DECISION

Standard of Review

A petition for civil commitment as an SDP must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. In re Civil Commitment of Stone, 711 N.W.2d 831, 836 (Minn.App. 2006), review denied (Minn. June 20, 2006). We review the district court's factual findings for clear error and the district court's determination of whether the statutory standard for commitment has been satisfied as a question of law subject to de novo review. Id. We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the district court's conclusion. Id. at 840.

Sufficiency of the Evidence

A "sexually dangerous person" is defined as a person who "(1) has engaged in a course of harmful sexual conduct . . .; (2) has manifested a sexual, personality, or other mental disorder or dysfunction; and (3) as a result, is likely to engage in acts of harmful sexual conduct." Minn. Stat. § 253B.02, subd. 18c(a) (2012). To meet the third element, the petitioner must show that the person must be "highly likely" to engage in future acts of harmful sexual conduct. Stone, 711 N.W.2d at 840 (quoting In re Linehan, 594 N.W.2d 867, 876 (Minn. 1999) (Linehan IV)). Appellant asserts that the evidence is insufficient to show that he is "highly likely" to engage in future acts of harmful sexual conduct.

To determine whether a person is "highly likely" to reoffend, the Minnesota Supreme Court has stated that a court must consider six factors:

(1) the offender's demographic characteristics; (2) the offender's history of violent behavior; (3) the base-rate statistics for violent behavior among individuals with the offender's background; (4) the sources of stress in the offender's environment; (5) the similarity of the present or future context to those contexts in which the offender used ...

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