Ken Paxton

AG Paxton: Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators Constitutional

Thursday, July 28, 2016 – Austin

Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced a victory for the State against sexually violent predators. The Beaumont Court of Appeals reversed a trial court order that declared the statute mandating civil commitment of sexually violent predators unconstitutional and immediately released sexually violent predator Alonzo May from commitment.

A 2013 final judgment decreed May a sexually violent predator and civilly committed him in accordance with Chapter 841 of the Texas Health & Safety Code. As part of his civil commitment, May was to stay in supervised housing at a facility designated by the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management (OVSOM). A 2015 amendment to Chapter 841 created the Texas Civil Commitment Office (TCCO) to head treatment and supervision of sexually violent predators. TCCO was required to create a tiered treatment program, with inpatient supervision, for current and future sexually violent predators. The trial court, however, found that May could not constitutionally be placed into the new tiered program, and it released him from all TCCO supervision.

The Attorney General quickly superseded the trial court’s order, and May was returned to the Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, Texas, pending resolution of the Attorney General’s appeal of that order. Today’s decision confirms that May and other sexually violent predators may constitutionally remain civilly committed under TCCO’s tiered treatment program.