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Sodomy Virginia Forcible Licensed Psychiatrist Attorneys Chesterfield County

Sodomy Virginia Forcible Licensed Psychiatrist Attorneys Chesterfield County

Commonwealth of Virginia v. Allan Paul
Facts:

Defendant had two convictions for forcible sodomy. On appeal, the Commonwealth argued that the circuit court erred in qualifying a licensed clinical psychiatrist as an expert because she was not skilled in the treatment of the mental conditions she diagnosed defendant with. The Commonwealth filed a petition requesting that defendant be civilly committed pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predators Act, Va. Code Ann. §§ 37.2-900 through 920. Following a bench trial, the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County (Virginia) entered final judgment holding that defendant was not a sexually violent predator as defined by the Act. The Commonwealth appealed.

Sodomy Virginia Forcible Licensed Psychiatrist Attorneys Chesterfield County

Sodomy Virginia Forcible Licensed Psychiatrist Attorneys

Issue:
  • Whether the circuit court erred in qualifying a witness to testify as an expert under the Sexually Violent Predators Act?
Discussion:

The Supreme Court finds that Va. Code Ann. § 37.2-907(A) required the psychiatrist to demonstrate skill in both diagnosis and treatment of the stated mental conditions, and that she did not meet the skill in treatment requirement. The Commonwealth also argued that the circuit court erred in concluding that the Commonwealth failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that defendant was a sexually violent predator as defined by the Act. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the evidence, as a matter of law, provided clear and convincing proof that defendant was a sexually violent predator as defined by the Act. Among other things, the Commonwealth’s expert testified that defendant estimated he may have abused young boys as many as 100 times and that defendant’s personality disorder might prevent him from seeking treatment for his problems. The judgment of the circuit court was reversed. Judgment was entered for the Commonwealth that defendant was a sexually violent predator as defined by the Act and the case was remanded for further proceedings to determine whether defendant should be fully committed or placed on conditional release.

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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