United States v. Antone

742 F.3d 151 (2014)

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United States v. Antone

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
742 F.3d 151 (2014)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD


Between 1991 and 1999, Byron Antone (plaintiff) sexually assaulted six different victims and served several prison sentences, all of which were issued by the Tohono O’odham National Tribal Court. Antone was either drunk or high during each sexual assault. Following Antone’s most recent tribal conviction, Antone initiated a criminal case against himself in federal district court in order to be transferred to a federal prison with a sex-offender treatment program. Antone pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 114 months in prison. Shortly before Antone’s release date, the federal government petitioned to have him civilly committed under the Adam Walsh Act as a sexually dangerous person. The government’s petition stayed Antone’s release and, by the time the court held an evidentiary hearing, Antone had been in federal custody for 14 years. During Antone’s 14 years in federal prison, he had remained completely sober, attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, sought regular counseling, maintained employment within the prison, avoided serious behavior issues, obtained his GED, and did not engage in, or express any interest in engaging in, sexual misconduct. At the time of the evidentiary hearing, Antone was actively participating in sex-offender therapy. At the evidentiary hearing, Antone’s expert witnesses, all of whom had either treated or interviewed Antone, agreed that Antone suffered from mental disorders but stated that Antone had developed sufficient self-control over his 14 years in prison that he was unlikely to reoffend upon release. The government’s witness, who only reviewed Antone’s written record and did not interview Antone, countered, asserting that Antone’s paraphilia, alcoholism, and history of sexually violent crimes made him likely to reoffend. Although the magistrate who conducted the civil-commitment hearing recommended releasing Antone, the district court disagreed and granted the government’s petition to civilly commit Antone, holding that Antone’s alcoholism made him likely to reoffend. Antone appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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