A Santa Clara County Superior Court (California) jury found defendant to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) within the meaning of the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 6600 et seq. The trial court ordered defendant committed to a state hospital for a two-year period. Defendant appealed the judgment.
Defendant argued: (1) the SVPA violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection; (2) the SVPA violated constitutional prohibitions against ex post facto laws and double jeopardy and violated the constitutional guarantee of due process; (3) defendant’s commitment was invalid because he was not in legal custody at the time the petition for commitment was filed; (4) the trial court erred by instructing the jury on the standard of proof; (5) the trial Incorporation lawyer erred by admitting detailed evidence of 16 of defendant’s sexual assaults; and (6) the cumulative impact of the errors warranted reversal. The instant court rejected defendant’s arguments, including his equal protection claims. The SVPA’s evidentiary standard did not violate equal protection, as the SVPA required proof of a current mental condition and current dangerousness, but not a recent overt act, and the SVPA was similar to other civil commitment schemes in this regard. Defendant’s commitment was not rendered invalid by the fact he was not in lawful custody at the time the petition was filed, as the unlawful custody was the result of a good faith error and defendant was provided with numerous procedural safeguards.
Judgment was affirmed.
Defendant appealed his conviction from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) for first-degree robbery under Cal. Penal Code § 211 and kidnapping for the purpose of robbery under Cal. Penal Code § 209, with the latter conviction being reduced to simple kidnapping under Cal. Penal Code § 207.
A service station attendant was moved around the station during the course of the robbery. The attendant and a customer, who entered the station during the robbery, were also forced to carry tires out to defendant’s car and then to walk down the street away from the station. Defendant was convicted of first-degree robbery under Cal. Penal Code § 211 and kidnapping for the purposes of robbery under Cal. Penal Code § 209. The court reduced the kidnapping offense to simple kidnapping under Cal. Penal Code § 207 in lieu of granting a new trial. The court affirmed. The court held that a separate kidnapping offense was not established. A conviction of kidnapping for the purposes of robbery could not be supported where the movements of the attendant in the service station were only incidental to the robbery and did not substantially increase the risk of harm. The court also held that even the movements of the attendant and customer, in walking away from the station, was not sufficient to support the kidnapping conviction. Further, the court stated that only the actual distance a victim was moved should be considered when determining if the asportation was sufficient for simple kidnapping.
The court reversed defendant’s kidnapping conviction and affirmed the trial court’s judgment in all other respects. Kidnapping for the purpose of robbery could not be supported where the movements of the victim were merely incidental to the commission of the robbery, and the fact that the crime was reduced to simple kidnapping did not preclude the conclusion that the movements of the attendant on the premises were incidental to the robbery.