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In re Commitment of Colantuono

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

November 8, 2017

IN RE the Commitment of Louis Anthony COLANTUONO

          From the 38th Judicial District Court, Medina County, Texas Trial Court No. 16-05-23661-CV Honorable H. Paul Canales, Judge Presiding, AFFIRMED

          Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Karen Angelini, Justice Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice

          OPINION

          Karen Angelini, Justice

         This case involves a civil commitment pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act ("SVP"). See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 841.001-.151 (West 2017). After a jury trial, Appellant Louis Anthony Colantuono was found to be a sexually violent predator and was civilly committed for sex-offender treatment and supervision. On appeal, he argues the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the jury's finding that he suffers from a behavioral abnormality that makes him likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence. He also argues the trial court erred in excluding testimony from his expert witness about possible future conditions of parole supervision. We affirm.

          Background

         In May 2016, the State filed a petition alleging that Colantuono was a sexually violent predator and requesting that he be committed for treatment and supervision pursuant to Title 11, Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. At trial, evidence regarding Colantuono's prior sexual convictions was admitted, proving that Colantuono had five previous convictions in California for sexual acts against children and was currently serving a thirty-year sentence in Texas for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Colantuono has been imprisoned since 1995.

         At trial, Colantuono testified that he had had several relationships with boys, whom he described as "throwaways." According to Colantuono, "they're not only throwaways, but some of them are just neglected. Their fam-their families are alcoholics, drug addicts, and everything else, you know, and that's-that's it. They're-They're lonely." Colantuono testified he would take care of these boys and feed them. He admitted to being a member of the National Association of Man/Boy Lovers, which he joined because he had heard he could get legal help from the organization. Colantuono admitted that he has "masturbated to boys" and testified he has "a great love for boys." Colantuono became a "boy lover" when he was twelve years old and was sodomized by another boy. Colantuono testified that his "age preference is actually 12, 13, 14, 15, 24."

         Colantuono testified that he was first convicted of a sexual crime in 1963 in California when he was about twenty-five years old. While driving an ice cream truck, he saw two boys hitchhiking. Colantuono was accused of touching the penis of one of the boys.

I was just meeting those kids, and this one fourteen-year-old boy turned around and was jealous that the thirteen-year-old wanted to go with me, and he told lies about us. I don't want to drag any children into court and say, "Here. You've got to stand here and you've got to say this and that." You know, so I just pled guilty.

         Colantuono denied any sexual contact with the boys, although he testified he "sure wish[ed] he could have made love to" one of them. Colantuono was convicted of lewd and lascivious contact against one of the boys. He was committed to a mentally disordered sex offender program and was found by the court to be a "probable sexual psychopath."

         Colantuono admitted that he was subsequently convicted of four more sexual offenses in California involving children, including one related to putting his penis in a boy's anus and another related to putting his mouth on a child's penis. Colantuono testified about sexually abusing an eleven-year old boy named Oliver who had been part of a "camping group" that Colantuono led. Colantuono estimated he sodomized Oliver seven or eight times over a period of six months. Colantuono testified he believed the relationship was consensual, but admitted that Oliver had not characterized the relationship that way:

I didn't say I threatened him [Oliver]. He said I threatened him. He said that I threatened him that I was going to shoot him with a shotgun - a shotgun. The word was, "Be careful, Oliver. I'm ready to shoot cum, " not shoot him with a shotgun.

         Colantuono testified he had a relationship with another boy in the "camping group" who was fourteen years-old. The boy, Jerry, moved into Colantuono's home. Colantuono described the sexual relationship as consensual and lasting for two-and-a-half years. Colantuono also testified he took an eleven-year-old boy on a camping trip to San Francisco and sodomized him. Once again, Colantuono testified the sexual relationship had been consensual. And, Colantuono admitted to having sodomized a thirteen-year-old boy named Gilbert. Colantuono testified he would take boys on overnight trips to Las Vegas or San Francisco and would invite them to stay at his house. According to Colantuono, he would also offer them gifts.

         When questioned by the State about sexual contact with a nine-year-old boy and a six-year-old boy, Colantuono denied having any contact with them, claiming they were too young for him.

          In the 1980s, after serving seven and a half years in prison, Colantuono was released on parole. While on parole, he went to Mexico, which was against the terms and conditions of his parole. Colantuono testified he violated the terms of his parole because of a fifteen-year-old boy named Jason. Colantuono had met Jason's mother "at the welfare office":

I invited his mother earlier over for a meal. They told me they were going to the river. They were going to camp at the river, and I said, "I've got sleeping bags over at my house. I'll give them to you. They're brand new, you know." I didn't expect them to move in on me and not move once they got in my-my hotel room.

         Colantuono claimed that Jason's mother told Jason to sleep in Colantuono's bed. Colantuono admitted to masturbating in the bed while Jason was sleeping. Colantuono testified that he left for Mexico because he believed he was going to be charged with another sexual offense.

         Colantuono traveled to Mexico under a false identity. Colantuono testified that while he was in Mexico, he had a sexual relationship with a fourteen-year-old boy named Marvin. According to Colantuono, he was traveling from Mexico to Texas every week. On one of his trips to Texas, when he was fifty-four years old, he stayed at a friend's home where an eleven-year-old girl named Jessica was staying over for a slumber party. Colantuono claimed he "fell asleep on the sofa at the top of the bed" and Jessica "was in the middle of bed." Colantuono testified he woke up to being "orally copulated by this child." Colantuono claimed eleven-year-old Jessica tore "her panties off with one hand, grab[bed] [him] by the penis and pull[ed him] down over her." Colantuono claimed he "became her victim." Colantuono testified, "She groomed me and she got me to do whatever she was going to do with me." Colantuono claimed Jessica's parents were "using her as fair trade to supply her-their drugs." Colantuono was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and ...


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