United States v. Carta, No. 11-1921 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Carta pled guilty to child pornography in 2002 and was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. Prior to his scheduled release, the Bureau of Prisons certified that Carta was a "sexually dangerous person" and commenced civil commitment proceedings under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, 18 U.S.C. 4248(a). A "sexually dangerous person" is one "who has engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation and is sexually dangerous to others." A determination that an individual is a sexually dangerous person requires proof by clear and convincing evidence that he "suffers from a serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder as a result of which he would have serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released." After a district judge ruled that the government had failed to establish that Carta's diagnosis of "paraphilia not otherwise specified characterized by hebephilia" was a "serious mental illness, abnormality or disorder" under the Act, the First Circuit reversed. A different district court judge subsequently ruled in the government's favor. The First Circuit affirmed.