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SVP – Sufficiency of evidence – pedophilia

State v. Ronald J. Zanelli (II), 223 Wis.2d 545, 589 N.W.2d 687 (Ct. App. 1998)
For Zanelli: Jane K. Smith.

Holding: Second time’s not the charm for Zanelli, who won his 1st appeal, State v. Zanelli (I), 212 Wis. 2d 358, 569 N.W.2d 301 (Ct. App. 1997). On this subsequent appeal, the court holds the evidence  sufficient to establish his pedophilia. The state’s expert witnesses testified that Zanelli suffers from pedophilia, based on his contact with young boys over a long period of time. Zanelli argues that DSM-IV requires “literal compliance” with three distinct factors, while the experts testified that “flexibility” is in order. This is enough to sustain the verdict.

Zanelli makes a related argument: the right to notice requires proof of all the DSM-IV criteria for pedophilia (or, for that matter, any particular mental disorder relied on for commitment). “This simply recasts the argument we have already rejected.” The statute contains an objective standard, the definition of mental disorder, and any questions about the experts’ opinions go to weight, not notice.

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