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A New Jersey man who has been a child sex predator since his teen years has been denied a his bid for freedom even though he has already served his prison sentence.

The 42-year-old sex offender was most recently sentenced in 2008 to eight years in prison after being convicted of raping his live-in girlfriend’s son from the time the boy was 6 years old until he was 8.

Since 2014, however, he has remained locked up under what is known as civil commitment, which is the way authorities keep violent and repetitive sexual offenders in custody even after they’ve maxed out their prison sentences.

Although the practice has been challenged on constitutional grounds, courts have upheld civil commitment under the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Act.

The civilly committed residents are housed and provided therapy at the Adult Diagnostic Treatment Center in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.

Psychiatrists who treated this resident — identified in the appellate court decision Thursday only by his initials of A.F. — testified that therapy hasn't worked for him, and that he would be a danger to the community if released, even with outpatient therapy.

The man was first convicted in New York in 1993 of molesting and raping his 3-year-old cousin until she was 6. He was 15 years old when he started the abuse, which he said he would do “every chance he had.”

He was paroled in 1995 and convicted again in 1998 of armed robbery. After being let out in 2002, his parole was revoked a year later.

Psychiatrists who treated the man after his 2008 conviction diagnosed him with “pedophilic disorder with non-exclusive attraction to boys and girls.

Dr. Roger Harris testified in 2014 that the man “would be highly likely to sexually reoffend” because of his “strong arousal [to children] and an inability to control acting on that arousal.”

Dr. Jamie Canataro testified that “pedophilic arousal is his primary arousal” and that the man “acknowledged sexually fantasizing” about his child victim while having sex with the child's mother. Canataro added that the man was “unable or unwilling to control the sexual urges” and that his alcohol problem added an “additional risk factor" because alcohol "serves as a behavioral disinhibitor."

Even the therapist who testified on his behalf acknowledged that it "would be surprising for an individual who does experience and has a history of sexual arousal to children … to simply go into a full sustained remission.”

The two-judge appellate panel on Thursday sided with the Superior Court judge’s 2014 decision that found him “likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined to a secure facility for control, care and treatment.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him
news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremed

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