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Name: People v. McRoberts
Case #: C060485
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/02/2009
Summary

A juvenile adjudication for a sexual offense when the victim is a child under the age of 14 is a qualifying offense under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA). The 2006 amendment to Welfare And Institutions Code section 6600 et seq., the SVPA, reduced the number of necessary convictions of a sexually violent offense to one; deleted the limitation on the number of juvenile adjudications that can be used; and deemed any sex offense to be sexually violent if it involved a child under the age of 14. Here, the court rejected appellant’s statutory interpretation and applied rules of construction to support its read of the amended statute.
Character evidence of lay witnesses is not admissible in an SVP proceeding as to the issue regarding appellant’s amenability for treatment. Appellant sought to introduce the testmiony of three lay witnesses to show his good character, and to establish that even if he had a disorder, he was amenable to outpatient treatment. The trial court excluded the evidence. The appellate court agreed with the trial court that such witnesses could not counter the expert’s opinions as to whether appellant was likely to reoffend if released to the community for treatment.
The trial court did not err in omitting the fourth element in CALCRIM No. 3454. The court also agreed with the trial court’s ruling that where there is no evidence of a defendant’s amenability to voluntary treatment in the community, the court need not instruct sua sponte that the People must prove it is necessary to keep the person in custody in a secure facility to ensure the health and safety of others (CALCRIM No. 3454).