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Booker v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division

March 31, 2015


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. The Honorable Kathleen Forsyth, Judge.

For Respondent: Mary Highland, Jefferson City, MO.

For Appellant: Erika Renee Eliason, Columbia, MO.

Before Division Two: Anthony Rex Gabbert, PJ., Joseph M. Ellis, Karen King Mitchell, JJ. All concur.


Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge.

Page 350

Ralph Freeman Booker, Jr. appeals the circuit court's judgment finding him to be a sexually violent predator and ordering him to be placed in a secure facility in custody of the Department of Mental Health. In his only point on appeal, Booker asserts that the court plainly erred in allowing the State to impeach his expert witness using statements Booker made during his trial testimony that were restricted by the State's motion in limine regarding collateral estoppel. Booker further argues that the use of these statements violated his right to due process. We affirm.

Factual Background

Booker was scheduled to be released from the Farmington Correctional Facility on March 12, 2010 after serving a fifteen year sentence for the forcible rape of a sixteen year-old girl. On March 4, 2010, the State filed a petition to have Booker civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. Prior to his arrest for forcible rape, Booker had served a five year sentence for attempted rape and sodomy of a thirteen year-old girl. He was also found guilty of indecent exposure in 1988. Both the rape and attempted rape qualify as sexually violent offenses under§ 632.480, RSMo 2000[1].

Page 351

Prior to the trial, the State filed a motion in limine to bar Booker from presenting evidence or arguing that he was innocent of any crime to which he had previously pled guilty. The court granted the motion.

During the trial on July 23, 2013, the State called Dr. Steven Mandracchia as a witness. Dr. Mandracchia is a psychologist for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Dr. Mandracchia testified that in his opinion Booker met the criteria of a sexually violent predator since he diagnosed Booker with the sexual abnormality of paraphilia, not otherwise specified. This diagnosis resulted from Booker's sexual offenses against non-consenting parties and a 2010 interview that Dr. Mandracchia had with Booker. However, in 1995, the Department of Health conducted an interview with Booker where they determined that the reason for Booker's crimes was not a mental defect. Dr. Mandracchia claimed he used two different tests to determine Booker's likelihood to commit another sexually violent act, one labeled the Static 99R and another labeled the Static 2002R. Both resulted in diagnosing Booker with a high probability of committing a sexually violent offense within ten years.

After Dr. Mandracchia's testimony, Booker testified. He testified about his childhood and the crimes which he pled guilty to. Booker also testified that he had been addicted to PCP when he committed the sexually violent acts and was, in fact, high on PCP when he committed the forcible rape. Booker had been given two chances to participate in the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program (MOSOP) and was discharged once in 1993 and again in 2006. The MOSOP is offered to those who have committed sexual offenses and gives them a chance for early release. Booker also testified about the facts surrounding his dismissal from the MOSOP program where he claimed to have been harassed by white supremacists in the group.

Booker then called his own doctor as a witness, Dr. Robert W. Barnett. Dr. Barnett works in Kansas and had never dealt with a Missouri sexually violent predator. Dr. Barnett admitted that he had not read the Missouri Sexually Violent Predator Act but that he had read an article with information about the act and that he understood it to be very similar to Kansas's statute. On cross-examination, the State pointed out that Dr. Barnett is a 'hired gun' and that Dr. Mandracchia is independent of either party in that he was not being compensated by the State or Booker. Dr. Barnett claimed that Booker has a low risk of recidivism for crimes of a sexual nature unless he becomes addicted to intoxicants again, in which case " all bets are off." Dr. Barnett based his opinion on an interview that he conducted with Booker as well as the investigative report of the rape, witness statements, and review of Dr. Mandracchia's sexually violent predator evaluation. On cross examination, Dr. Barnett testified that he was unaware that Booker had testified the day before that he had committed the past sexual crimes. Booker objected, arguing that the State's questioning of Dr. Barnett used testimony from an already ...

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