The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a Webster County district court ruling that a man with a personality disorder can be considered a violent sexual predator under the state sex offender law. Jerry Altman challenged the ruling that would leave him locked up because of the possibility that he would commit sexually violent offenses.
Iowa Assistant Attorney General Mary Tabor says the ruling gives further definition to the sex offender law. Tabor says the decision clarifies that to be eligible for the sex offender commitment program you don’t have to have exclusively committed sexual offenses for it to be determined that you might commit sexual offenses in the future.
The Supreme Court ruling said there was substantial evidence to support the finding that Altman is a sexually violent predator. The high court says the State need only establish that more likely than not the Altman will commit additional sexually violent offenses, and the fact that it is likely he will also commit other crimes does not detract from his risk as a sexual predator.
Tabor says this is one of several reviews of the sex offender law. Tabor says the cases come to a committee of prosecutors for review try to determine if the person would be a good candidate for the commitment program.
Tabor says this ruling gives them some clarification as to what type of past histories would fall under the statute. Altman has also said the court was wrong to release his medical records in the case, but the Supreme Court ruled the release of otherwise confidential or privileged information is allow to assist in the determination of whether someone is a sexual predator.