SANTA ANA – An appellate court has denied an appeal by a convicted child rapist who is seeking to avoid a trial to have him committed to a mental institution as a sexually violent predator.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana ruled that Orange County prosecutors’ petition to have Lawrence Joseph Brown, 54, committed was properly filed. In his appeal Brown challenged Orange County Superior Court Judge David Hoffer’s order denying his motion to dismiss the petition.
Deputy Public Defender Mark Brown said he’s considering all options including appealing to the California Supreme Court. Brown is scheduled to next appear in court Feb. 22 for a pretrial hearing.
A jury could eventually decide whether he should be deemed a sexually violent predator. If the jury so finds, Brown would be locked up in a mental facility indefinitely, but he would have the right to regularly petition for his release.
Prosecutors say Brown never should be freed, based on the violence and depravity of his crimes, as well as the ages of his victims: 8 and 7.
In 2011 psychiatric evaluations, doctors concluded Brown suffers from a mental disorder which makes him likely to reoffend and therefore he meets the criteria for a sexually violent predator, prosecutors said.
He was released on parole in Orange County on April 27, 2010, after serving 25 years of a 49-year sentence for brutally assaulting two young girls after kidnapping them in broad daylight six months apart in Santa Ana in 1983. In May 2010, he violated parole and was sent back to prison.
Brown was rearrested less than an hour after his release on Nov. 17, 2010, and returned to prison for violating parole by failing to report immediately to his parole officer.
He is currently being held at Orange County jail.
By VIK JOLLY/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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