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In re Care and Treatment of Martin Reddig

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

March 28, 2018


          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CAMDEN COUNTY Honorable Aaron G. Koeppen, Circuit Judge

         Martin Reddig ("Reddig") appeals the trial court's judgment committing him to the custody of the Department of Mental Health (the "DMH") following a jury finding that he is a sexually violent predator ("SVP").[1] In this appeal, Reddig challenges the judgment in eight points relied on. Finding no merit to these points, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

          Factual and Procedural History

         On June 11, 2015, the State filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Camden County seeking a hearing to determine whether Reddig was a SVP. At the time, Reddig was serving a ten-year sentence in the Missouri Department of Corrections ("DOC"), arising out of his 2006 conviction for first-degree child molestation, pursuant to section 566.067.[2] After trial on April 21 and 22, 2016, a jury found that Reddig was a SVP, and the trial court entered a judgment and commitment order. Reddig's points on appeal assert different-and inconsistent-standards by which we view the record. Accordingly, we set forth the substantive "facts" in the light most favorable to the verdict, and based on the record at trial.[3]

         Reddig began viewing pornography at age four. In 1994, at age 16, Reddig experienced sexual thoughts about a three-year-old female cousin. He frequently masturbated to those thoughts, and later suggested that he might have acted on those thoughts if he had access to his cousin.

         In 1999, Reddig was 21 and living in Arizona. He would check house doors to see if they were unlocked, and by use of this method, "broke into five or six different houses" with the goal of "rap[ing] a child or an adult." After breaking into one home, he found an 18-year-old woman in her bedroom and tried to rape her at knifepoint. She violently fought Reddig off before he could consummate the rape. She contacted law enforcement, and then directed law enforcement to

         Reddig when she found him at a bar sometime thereafter. Police found Reddig's fingerprints on both the woman's bedroom door and a knife at the scene. Police questioned Reddig after the woman identified him as her attacker. Reddig falsely reported that "he hadn't done anything, . . . had been at a bar[, ] . . . consumed alcohol [and] had gone home and gone to sleep[, ]" and "the charges were dropped."

         Reddig viewed child pornography "countless times" between 2000 and 2001. The child victims in these pornographic materials were between four and twelve years old at the times they were depicted.

         In 2002, while living in Joplin, Reddig married a woman with a four-year-old daughter. Reddig sodomized the four year old, by digital and genital penetration, on multiple occasions. In February of that year, the four year old reported the abuse, and the authorities were contacted. Reddig was arrested. When confronted with the allegations, he falsely denied them. The charges were thereafter dropped.

         In 2006, while living in Camden County, Reddig was in a relationship with an older woman, [4] who had an adult daughter and three young granddaughters, ages four and three. Reddig described the "grooming" behaviors he engaged in with the children's mother to ensure that he had sexual access to the victims. He encouraged the children's mother to get an evening job, and then volunteered to babysit the children. When Reddig took over the babysitting duties, he gave the children baths. Reddig spent a long time washing the girls' genital areas, and would penetrate their genitals with his finger on multiple occasions. Reddig estimated he did this with all three girls more than fifty times over a six-month period. Reddig masturbated to the thought of molesting the girls both before and after he committed the acts. Reddig pled guilty to molesting one of the three granddaughters and was sent to prison.

         While in prison, Reddig completed the Missouri Sex Offender Program ("MOSOP"), and was released on parole in 2013. He was allowed to move to Kansas to live with his aunt and uncle. While in an outpatient sex offender treatment program, Reddig admitted to viewing and masturbating to pornography of children as young as four. His treatment was increased, but he continued looking at child pornography for children then as young as age two. Reddig was terminated from outpatient treatment due to concerns that he was going to reoffend.

         Reddig also intentionally placed himself in close proximity to children. Reddig accepted a ride from his boss and sat in the back seat with his boss's four children, who were all under the age of nine. Reddig also spent time alone with a boy who was about two years old and with a young girl.

         Reddig's parole was ultimately revoked due to these parole violations, and he was returned to the DOC in 2004.

         There was a two-day trial on Reddig's SVP status, beginning on April, 21, 2016. Reddig did not testify.

         During voir dire, the State's attorney asked the jury panel whether they, or anyone close to them, had been the victim of a sex crime. The jurors who answered publicly were asked if that event would keep them from following the trial court's instructions-Venireperson 30 said a friend had been a victim of such offense, and indicated she wanted to discuss the matter in private.

         At the conclusion of the voir dire questioning, the trial court announced to the venire panel that the members of the panel who wanted to speak privately with the court should "stick around after the recess, [and] we'll call you up to the bench one by one and in private you can answer a question that might have been previously posed to you during the process."

         The bailiff advised the trial court that he did not get the numbers of anyone wishing to speak in private. The trial court sent the bailiff into the hallway to ask if anyone wanted to speak to the court. The State's attorney noted that some people had originally indicated they wanted to speak in private, but the issue they wished to speak privately about had nevertheless come out during the public questioning. Defense counsel agreed. The bailiff later returned and said that Venireperson 80 was the only person who wanted to speak to the court.

         Venireperson 30 was seated on the jury following strikes for cause and peremptory strikes. Defense counsel approached the bench after the jury was seated:

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: No. 30 was seated. I had a note that she wanted to speak privately to the Court. But, apparently, she changed her mind when they announced that. I don't know if that makes a difference or not, but at one point I know she indicated that she had a friend that had been a victim of sex abuse and she wanted to speak privately.
THE COURT: I don't think it does, because we had the sheriff go out and ask if anyone wanted to approach, and so if she changed her mind, I think she has the right to change her mind. But thank you for pointing that out.

         The jury was then sworn. Thereafter, defense counsel requested Juror 30 become the alternate juror. The State did not agree, and the trial court denied defense counsel's request. No other requests were made by defense counsel at that point.

         At trial, Dr. Nena Kircher ("Dr. Kircher"), a licensed psychologist for the DMH, testified that she conducted an end-of-confinement evaluation in the spring of 2015, using the criteria set forth in the SVP statute at the time. She interviewed Reddig, and reviewed a number of records reasonably relied on by experts in the field. Dr. Kircher testified that Reddig suffered from pedophilic disorder, such disorder predisposed him to commit acts of sexual violence, and that Reddig would have difficulty controlling his behavior in the future. She opined that to a reasonable degree of psychological certainty, Reddig was more likely than not to engage in future acts of predatory sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility.

         Dr. Jeffrey Kline ("Dr. Kline"), a psychologist and certified forensic examiner with the DMH, evaluated Reddig in September 2015. Dr. Kline testified he reviewed extensive records relating, in relevant part, to Reddig's prior offenses, sexual history, confinement, and the report of Dr. Kircher. He testified that the records he reviewed were the types reasonably relied on by experts in the field and that he found the records to be reliable. Dr. Kline also interviewed Reddig.

         Dr. Kline opined that, to a reasonable degree of psychological certainty, Reddig suffered from a mental abnormality. He testified that based on Reddig's score on one particular assessment, he had a "27.2 percent" chance of recidivism-however, Dr. Kline explained that this assessment tended to underestimate the likelihood of recidivism. Dr. Kline also opined that Reddig was more likely than not to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined to a secure facility, and that Reddig did not have the ability to manage his sexual behaviors.

         The jury returned a verdict finding that Reddig was a SVP. The trial court entered a judgment and order committing Reddig to the DMH for care, control, and treatment. Reddig filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court thereafter denied. This ...

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