In re Commitment of Fields

In 2005 Fields pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and kidnaping. Shortly before he was to begin mandatory supervised release, the state petitioned for his involuntary commitment under the Sexually Violent Persons (SVP) Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1. The circuit court found probable cause. At trial, the state presented the testimony of two psychologists that Fields suffers from pedophilia and antisocial personality disorder and is dangerous because it is probable that he will commit acts of sexual violence in the future. In addition to the 2005 incident, the experts considered an offense involving another nine-year-old boy, when Fields was 15 years old. They also referred to several incidents while Fields was in custody and his failure to participate in sex offender treatment. A jury found Fields to be a SVP. After the circuit court entered judgment, Fields requested a date for a dispositional hearing and a pre-hearing evaluation. In denying those requests, the court determined it already had sufficient information to make its dispositional ruling, and ordered him committed to a secure treatment and detention facility. The appellate court affirmed the SVP finding, but vacated the commitment order and remanded for a dispositional hearing. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. The state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Fields was an SVP as defined by the Act, which requires a dispositional hearing. View "In re Commitment of Fields" on Justia Law