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Castration of sex offneders

Surgically Castrated Boy-Molester July 9, 2002

Posted by Orchiectomy on 2002-08-20 09:48:56

Jury denies castrated convict his freedom Panel says Stephen Norten still predator

By Leslie Parrilla, http://www.staronline.com/vcs/county_news/article/lparrilla@insidevc.com July 9, 2002

A Ventura County jury sent a convicted child molester back to a state mental hospital on Monday, saying he is a danger to the community even though he has been surgically castrated.

Stephen Norten sat in a Ventura County Superior courtroom hoping that a jury would let him move to a rural area of Arizona where he could serve a probation that would allow him to leave his house for work and errands.

But jurors ruled that Norten was still a sexually violent predator, and sent him back to Atascadero State Hospital, where he has been committed since 1997.

"Frankly, he's one of the worst offenders in the state," said Senior Deputy District Attorney David Lehr outside court. "Even if the statistics are low, he was such a high-risk offender before the surgery."

Although a surgeon removed Norten's testicles in January, he scored extremely high on a test measuring the likelihood of sexually violent recidivism, according to testimony from Dr. Robert Owen, a psychiatrist with the California Department of Mental Health.

Norten measured 9 on a scale of 0 to 12, using the Static 99 test. Owen testified that the test was not designed to evaluate men who had been castrated and that, based on statistics, the odds are good that Norten would not re-offend.

"It's a troublesome area of the law," said Deputy Public Defender Neill Quinn outside of court. "All the People had to show was that he has a mental disorder that makes him a danger to the community. The trouble is, that allows each juror to decide what a substantial danger is."

Norten's long history with the criminal justice system began when he pleaded guilty to sodomizing a Simi Valley boy in 1981. He has acknowledged sexually assaulting at least 100 boys.

Under California's controversial sexually violent predator law, Norten can remain incarcerated even though he has served his criminal sentence, but it must be proved that he still poses a danger to society.

Norten is entitled to a hearing every two years to determine if he is still a sexually violent predator.