SANTA CRUZ - The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Santa Cruz County case involving a petition to commit a man as a sexually violent predator.
Daniel James Macy was convicted of child sexual abuse in September 2000, according to court records. Prosecutors later sought to have him committed as a sexually violent predator. At issue is whether the prosecution's petition for his commitment is invalid because it would issued using an assessment protocol later found to be improper, according to Macy's filings.
Defense attorney Art Dudley argues that the results of an evaluation under proper protocol would have precluded the filing of the prosecution's petition in the first place. The 6th District Court of Appeals in San Jose rejected that argument, and upheld the lower court's decision in July.
The first petition to commit Macy as a sexually violent predator under the state's sexually violent predator act was filed in December 2004, based on the contention that two evaluators had determined Macy had a "diagnosed mental disorder making him likely to engage in sexual violence without appropriate treatment and custody."
A probable cause hearing held in June 2005 concurred with those findings, but a motion to dismiss or grant a new hearing was later filed in March 2010. The defense's argument was that the evaluations used to support the filing of petition for commitment were made using an improper assessment protocol.
The Santa Cruz County Superior Court granted Macy's motion for a new probable cause hearing in August 2010, but denied his requests for a dismissal or new evaluations. A second motion to dismiss the commitment petition was denied in May 2011, and a third petition was denied in July 2011.
Last week, it was announced that the State Supreme Court would review Macy's case.
Assistant District Attorney Celia Rowland, who prosecuted the case in Santa Cruz County, and Dudley said they had both expected the Supreme Court would pick up the Macy case for review.
The court also has accepted another case presenting a similar issue, in an effort to resolve conflicts among the state's courts of appeals, Rowland said.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter: @jmpasko96
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