This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of:
Dale Allen Lindsey.
Filed May 8, 2007
Hennepin County District Court
File Nos. 27-MH-PR-05-1149, 27-PR-CV-05-7
Gregory R. Solum,
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, John L. Kirwin, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent Hennepin County)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
In this appeal from an order for civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person, Dale Lindsey challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his commitment and his placement at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. Lindsey argues that the state failed to show that he was a sexually dangerous person because his last sexual offense occurred in 1990, he has not committed any further sexual offenses since completing sex offender treatment, and he has lived in the community for about five years without engaging in harmful sexual conduct. For similar reasons, Lindsey argues that he demonstrated the availability of a suitable, less-restrictive treatment program. Because the district court’s findings were not clearly erroneous and those findings satisfy the statutory requirements, we affirm.
F A C T S
Lindsey, who is forty-six years old, moved to
Following the 1990 assaults, Lindsey pleaded guilty to one count of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of simple robbery. As part of a plea agreement, three other third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges were dismissed.
Lindsey completed sex-offender treatment while in prison and he was placed on supervised release in October 1997. Between September 1999 and August 2001, Lindsey’s release was revoked a number of times for drug-related parole violations. In August 2001, Lindsey’s sentence expired, and he was no longer on supervised release.
Between May 2003 and April 2004, Lindsey committed a number of assaults and was placed on probation.
On October 18, 2004, after Lindsey met a woman in a bar, he entered her car and asked for a ride. The woman complied but later stopped the car and asked Lindsey to leave. Lindsey punched her and said, “Bitch, I got the power, and I will kill you.” The woman ran from the car. Lindsey chased her, tackled her, and punched her several more times before the police intervened.
This incident was similar to two of Lindsey’s 1990 sexual assaults in which he raped women in his car.
January 24, 2005, while awaiting sentencing on the October assault, Lindsey
approached three women outside a club in downtown
This incident was similar to three of Lindsey’s 1990 sexual assaults in which he approached women on the street and assaulted them.
In October 2006, several days before Lindsey was scheduled to be released from prison, the state filed a petition to commit Lindsey as a sexual-psychopathic personality and a sexually dangerous person. The district court appointed two psychologists to examine Lindsey. The first, Dr. James Alsdurf, was selected by the court and concluded that Lindsey qualified as a sexually dangerous person but not a sexual-psychopathic personality. The second, Dr. Peter Meyers, was selected by Lindsey and his attorney and concluded that Lindsey qualified as both a sexually dangerous person and a sexual-psychopathic personality.
After a trial in March 2006, the district court issued an initial order committing Lindsey to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program as a sexually dangerous person. The district court dismissed the sexual-psychopathic personality allegation. Following a sixty-day review hearing, the district court issued an order for indeterminate commitment as a sexually dangerous person. Lindsey appeals both the initial and the indeterminate commitment orders.
D E C I S I O N
petition for civil commitment under the Minnesota Commitment and Treatment Act
must be supported by clear and convincing evidence.
The evidence was sufficient to find that Lindsey satisfies each requirement of the sexually dangerous person statute.
it was not clearly erroneous to find that Lindsey engaged in a course of
harmful sexual conduct. An examination of whether an
offender engaged in a course of harmful sexual conduct takes into account both
conduct for which the offender was convicted and conduct that did not result in
a conviction. In re Civil Commitment of Ramey, 648 N.W.2d 260, 268 (
The evidence shows that Lindsey committed a series of five sexual assaults in a twenty-six-day period in 1990. He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of simple robbery. Nonetheless, Lindsey was originally charged with one count of first-degree and four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The evidence, which includes Lindsey’s admissions in interviews, provides clear and convincing support for the original charges. See Ramey, 648 N.W.2d at 268 (noting that “the course of conduct need not consist solely of convictions, but may also include conduct amounting to harmful sexual conduct, of which the offender was not convicted”). The record contains direct evidence that Lindsey’s sexual conduct was harmful. Although Lindsey has not engaged in any harmful sexual conduct since 1990, the 1990 acts still establish a course of conduct. Robb, 622 N.W.2d at 573-74. In addition, the record contains evidence that Lindsey engaged in abusive, controlling behavior that was sexual in nature while working as a pimp. Thus, the record provides sufficient evidence from which the district court could properly conclude that Lindsey engaged in a course of harmful sexual conduct.
Second, it was not clearly erroneous to find that Lindsey manifested a sexual, personality, or other mental disorder or dysfunction. The evidence was sufficient to support the district court’s finding that Lindsey “suffers from sexual and personality disorders that constitute mental disorders, specifically, Sexual Sadism and Antisocial Personality Disorder.” Both Dr. Alsdurf and Dr. Meyers testified that Lindsey suffers from antisocial personality disorder. Dr. Meyers diagnosed Lindsey with sexual sadism. Dr. Alsdurf diagnosed Lindsey with sexual paraphilia, a less serious diagnosis. Both doctors based their conclusions on interviews with Lindsey and on reviews of Lindsey’s criminal history. Relying on this testimony, the district court could find by clear and convincing evidence that Lindsey manifested a sexual, personality, or other mental disorder or dysfunction.
it was not clearly erroneous to find that, as a result of his course of conduct
and mental disorders, Lindsey is highly likely to engage in acts of harmful
sexual conduct. Six factors are
considered when examining whether an offender is highly likely to recidivate. Linehan
I, 518 N.W.2d at 614. The court must
consider: (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 violence in the past; and (6) the offender’s record of
participation in sex-therapy programs.
Lindsey argues that he is not likely to engage in future harmful sexual conduct because he did not sexually reoffend during the five-year period when he lived in the community. Nonetheless, the district court applied the Linehan factors and properly rejected Lindsey’s argument.
Both Dr. Alsdurf and Dr. Meyers testified that Lindsey was highly likely to reoffend based on these factors. Dr. Alsdurf based his conclusion on Lindsey’s “moderately-high to high scores on the actuarials,” which predict his likelihood of reoffense and Lindsey’s continued use of drugs and alcohol, which was a factor in his earlier sex offenses. Dr. Meyers emphasized that statistical tests indicated that Lindsey was at a “high risk” for reoffending, that Lindsey has continued to engage in violent behavior, that Lindsey will continue to face stress in his environment, and that the similarity between Lindsey’s 1990 offenses and his more recent assaults suggests that Lindsey will be likely to commit sex offenses in the future.
Dr. Alsdurf and Dr. Meyers recognized that Lindsey had participated in sex-offender
treatment. But a person can qualify for
civil commitment despite completion of previous treatment programs. See In
re Pirkl, 531 N.W.2d 902, 904, 910 (
Lindsey argues that his age is a demographic factor that makes it less likely he will reoffend. Dr. Meyers’s report acknowledges that Lindsey’s age does reduce the risk of reoffense. Nonetheless, Dr. Meyers concluded that Lindsey has continued to engage in high-risk behaviors and Lindsey’s age is insufficient to outweigh other risk factors.
Based on this expert testimony and the similarity between Lindsey’s 1990 sex offenses and his more recent assaults, the district court could conclude that Lindsey is highly likely to engage in further acts of harmful sexual conduct. Therefore, the district court’s finding on this factor was not clearly erroneous.
Lindsey argues that he is not highly likely to reoffend as a result of his mental disorder. Dr. Meyers, however, testified that persons suffering from sexual sadism are likely to repeat their conduct. Furthermore, Lindsey’s mental disorder was a factor in calculating his statistical likelihood of further offenses. Therefore, the finding that Lindsey is likely to engage in future of acts of harmful sexual conduct is directly based on the finding that Lindsey manifests a mental disorder.
Thus, the district court did not commit clear error when it found that all three requirements of the sexually dangerous person statute were satisfied.
Linehan IV decision held that civil
commitment is permissible when, among the other statutory requirements, persons
have a “disorder or dysfunction [that]
does not allow them to adequately control their sexual impulses.” 594 N.W.2dat 876 (emphasis added). Later, in Kansas v. Crane, the Supreme Court held
that lack of control means that “there must be proof of serious difficulty in
controlling behavior.” 534
Therefore, the evidence that Lindsey is unable to adequately control his sexual impulses substantially overlaps with the proof that Lindsey satisfies the statutory standard for a sexually dangerous person. First, Lindsey’s mental-health diagnosis supports the conclusion that he is unable to adequately control his sexual impulses. Second, Lindsey’s continued use of drugs and alcohol, which was a factor in his earlier sexual assaults, supports this conclusion. Third, Lindsey’s sexual assaults in 1990 provide further evidence that he is unable to adequately control his sexual impulses. Although the assaults occurred more than sixteen years ago, the assaults still support this conclusion. Fourth, the similarity between Lindsey’s 1990 sexual assaults and his more recent assaults provides further evidence that he is unable to adequately control his sexual impulses. Finally, Lindsey has continued to engage in inappropriate sexual behavior while in treatment. In one incident, he continued to engage in inappropriate touching with a female visitor after guards instructed him to stop.
Therefore, the district court could find by clear and convincing evidence that Lindsey was unable to adequately control his sexual impulses.
Lindsey challenges his placement at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. If a person is adjudicated sexually
dangerous, the district court must “commit
the patient to a secure treatment facility unless the patient establishes by
clear and convincing evidence that a less-restrictive treatment program is
available that is consistent with the patient’s treatment needs and the
requirements of public safety.”
Lindsey argues that he did not need to be placed in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program because his support network in his community is adequate. First, Lindsey presented evidence that he has obtained outpatient treatment. Second, Lindsey described his community support network, which includes his family, his girlfriend, his church, and a community organization that supports sex offenders. Third, he described his experience in auto-body work and testified that he would be able to find employment. Fourth, he argues that he has not committed any sex offenses since completing sex-offender treatment and he has spent almost five years out of prison.
Nonetheless, both court-appointed experts testified that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program was the least-restrictive treatment program suitable for Lindsey. The district court could also take into account Lindsey’s history of probation violations, his continued drug and alcohol use, his mental health disorders, the testimony about his likelihood of reoffending, and the similarity between his sex offenses and his more recent assaults. Under the circumstances, the district court could therefore find that Lindsey failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a suitable, less-restrictive treatment program was available.