Justia Massachusetts Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Commonwealth v. Almeida

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Following a trial, a judge of the superior court civilly committed Defendant based on the judge’s finding that Defendant was a sexually dangerous person. The judge noted that Defendant’s sexual offenses were noncontact offenses but nevertheless concluded that Defendant was likely to engage in sexual offenses in the future to a degree that made him a “menace” to the health and safety of other persons. At the time of Defendant’s trial, the Supreme Judicial Court had not yet decided Commonwealth v. Suave, in which the Court held (1) Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123A permits a finding of sexual dangerous based on a defendant’s history of committing noncontact sexual offenses and his likelihood of committing only noncontact offenses in the future, and (2) to find that a defendant is a “menace,” the State must show the defendant’s predicted sexual offenses are likely to instill in his victims “a reasonable apprehension of being subjected to a contact sex crime.” In the instant case, because the judge did not make his findings within the Suave framework, the Supreme Judicial Court remanded the case for further consideration in light of Suave. View "Commonwealth v. Almeida" on Justia Law