IN RE THE DETENTION OF CHAD WILLIAM MAY, CHAD WILLIAM MAY, Respondent-Appellant.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Dale E. Ruigh, Judge.
Respondent appeals the determination that he should be civilly committed as a sexually violent predator.
Amy Kepes, Assistant Public Defender, Special Defense Unit, and Michael H. Adams, Local Public Defender, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Linda J. Hines and John McCormally, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee State.
Heard by Doyle, P.J., Bower, J., and Huitink, S.J.[*]
I. Background Facts & Proceedings.
On July 13, 2011, the State filed a petition alleging Chad May was a sexually violent predator under Iowa Code chapter 229A (2011). In 1998 May was convicted of two counts of lascivious acts with a child and two counts of indecent exposure. In 2010 he was convicted of two counts of child endangerment. The State alleged the 2010 child endangerment offenses were sexually violent offenses within the meaning of section 229A.2(10)(g) based on the facts surrounding those offenses.
The case proceeded to a jury trial. May, who was thirty-two years old, testified he was sexually attracted to children and had sexual fantasies about them. He admitted to sexually abusing other children before his 1998 convictions. He attended sex offender treatment in prison following the 1998 convictions. May was released from prison in 2000.
Concerning the 2010 convictions for child endangerment, May stated he told a mother that Matthew Poe would be a good influence on her two children, although he knew Poe had sexually abused minors in the past. The mother agreed to let the children stay overnight with May and Poe. During the evening, May, who was shirtless, was tied to a chair and duct tape was placed over his mouth. Poe and the children struck him with rubber bands, a belt, and a rope tourniquet. Some of May's chest hair was removed with duct tape. A dildo made from aluminum foil was placed in May's hand and a picture was taken. May denied being sexually aroused by these incidents. That night Poe sexually abused the two children while May was sleeping.
Dr. Amy Phenix, a psychologist, interviewed May for about three hours. She gave the opinion, to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, that May had a mental abnormality, pedophilia, that caused him to commit criminal sexual acts. Dr. Phenix stated she believed May was motivated by his own sexual desires in regard to the 2010 offenses. She also gave the opinion that May had a very high risk of reoffending. May scored in the high risk range on actuarial instruments given to offenders to assess the risk of future sexual offenses. Dr. Phenix gave the opinion that May was more likely than not to engage in predatory acts of a sexually violent nature if not confined in a secure facility.
May presented the testimony of Dr. Luis Rosell, a psychologist, who agreed with the diagnosis of pedophilia, but stated he believed May had the ability to control his behavior. Dr. Rosell pointed out that May was out in the community for ten years without a sexually-related conviction. He also stated that May's risk of reoffending would go down as he got older. Dr. Rosell testified there was a sexual component to May's child endangerment offenses and stated, "[t]here was some sexual motivation there."
The jury returned a verdict finding May was a sexually violent predator. The district court entered a written ruling denying May's motion to dismiss, motion for directed verdict, and motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. May was placed in the custody of the Iowa Department of Human Services for civil ...