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NY court backs sex offender civil confinement

ALBANY — A midlevel New York court has upheld state confinement of mentally deficient sex offenders who have not been convicted of an underlying sex crime.

The five Appellate Division justices on Thursday reversed a judge and reinstated the state petition for mandatory civil confinement of a man identified as “Daniel OO.”

They cite New York’s “strong interest” in protecting the public and treating offenders and a requirement to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he must be detained as a sex offender suffering from a mental abnormality.

He was found mentally incapacitated to stand trial for the sex assault of a speech therapist in 2004 and committed to a secure unit at Sunmount in Franklin County, where he was cited for 35 assaults or sexual misconduct incidents in one year.