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Name: People v. Roberge
Case #: S094627
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 02/06/2003
Subsequent History: 4/9/03 rehrg. den.
Summary

SVPA case. The Supreme Court determines the meaning of the term “likely” as used in section 6600, subdivision (a), describing the findings that the trier of fact must make at trial to determine whether the convicted sex offender, after serving the prison term, should be committed to a state mental hospital as a sexually violent predator. The Court concludes that the phrase “likely [to] engage in sexually violent behavior” in the trial phase means “that the person is ‘likely’ to reoffend if, because of a current mental disorder which makes it difficult or impossible to restrain violent sexual behavior, the person presents a substantial danger, that is, a serious and well-founded risk, that he or she will commit such crimes if free in the community.” (People v. Superior Court (Ghilotti) (2002) 27 Cal.4th 888, 922, original italics.) This is the same definition this Court applied to the word “likely” in section 6601, subdivision (d) [the initial evaluation phase by two mental health experts] (Ghilotti, at p. 922) and the same that it applied to the word “likely” in section 6602, subdivision (a) [pertaining to the superior court probable cause hearing].