Judge to Gov: Spring sickos

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

A dozen convicted sex fiends have been freed to hit the streets of New
York as early as next week.

The “Dirty Dozen” perverts – exclusively profiled in Sunday’s Daily News
- were tossed into mental hospitals by Gov. Pataki, even though they had
finished serving their prison sentences.

But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann ruled yesterday
that Pataki broke the law, reasoning that although the perverts may be
menaces to society, it doesn’t necessarily make them crazy.

“The Court takes no issue with the State’s belief that each of these men
poses a danger to society,” Silbermann wrote in her decision.

“However, even persons acquitted of violent crimes by reason of insanity
may not be civilly committed to a mental hospital solely because they
pose a danger to society,” she added.

The sex fiends could be released from city mental hospitals after five
days – unless two court-appointed psychiatrists determine they are
mentally ill or pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

Pataki was furious over the ruling, vowing to continue his crusade to
keep convicted perverts out of New York neighborhoods.

“Today’s ruling creates special, new judge-made rights and protections
for rapists, predators and pedophiles who are about to be released from
prison into our communities,” Pataki said in a statement.

“Without question, if this ruling is allowed to stand it would jeopardize
the safety of our children and communities throughout the state,” he

The sex convicts have been held under lock and key in psychiatric
hospitals on Wards Island since late September and early October.

Pataki has been trying to get legislation passed that would incarcerate
sex offenders indefinitely, but the state Assembly has refused to go
along with him.

In days, men like Johnny Torres, who brutally assaulted his ex-girlfriend
in Brooklyn in 2004, or Charles Brooks, who broke into an apartment in
the Bronx in 1997 and sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl, may be
returned to society.

Civil rights advocates had blasted the governor for incarcerating these
men after they had done their time. Yesterday, they lauded the justice’s

“It’s appropriate for the courts to step in to prevent politicians,
including the governor, from seeking to circumvent the law,” said Donna
Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Pataki, however, refused to give up the fight.

“If the Assembly majority continues to refuse to do the right thing, I
will do everything in my power to ensure that sexual predators remain off
our streets and away from our children,” he said.

With Helen Peterson and Joe Mahoney

© 2005 Daily News, L.P.

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