Appeal from the 209th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 9412131-0101Z
consists of Justices Jennings, Massengale, and Caughey.
Jennifer Caughey, Justice.
Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) statute defines a
"sexually violent predator" as one who is both (1)
a "repeat sexually violent offender, " and (2)
suffers from a behavioral abnormality that makes the person
likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence. Tex.
Health & Safety Code § 841.003. After the close of
evidence in this case, the trial court granted the State a
partial directed verdict, declaring Hood a "repeat
sexually violent offender." See id. §
841.003(b). The remainder of the case proceeded to a jury,
and that jury unanimously concluded that Hood was a
"sexually violent predator" as defined by the Act.
Id. at § 841.003(a). The trial court entered
final judgment and issued an order of commitment based on the
Hood's sole issue on appeal, he argues that the trial
court erred by granting the State's partial directed
verdict because he contends that, under the SVP statute, he
was permitted a jury trial on this issue. Our Court has
already rejected this precise argument. We therefore affirm.
trial, the judge admitted into evidence penitentiary packets
reflecting Hood's previous convictions. Those convictions
included a 1994 judgment for indecency with a child, a 1994
judgment for aggravated sexual assault of a child, Hood's
1984 guilty plea to sexual assault, and his 1979 guilty plea
also testified about his numerous sexual assaults of
children. In particular, Hood testified that he began
offending in 1976, when he was 19 years old and in his last
year of high school. According to Hood, he was driving down
the street when he saw an 11 or 12-year-old boy walking on
the side of the road. Hood pulled over and asked the boy if
he wanted a job. The boy climbed in Hood's car, and they
drove around for a while before going to a motel room. Hood
testified that he undressed the boy and fondled the boy's
genitals. The boy also fondled Hood's genitals. The boy
then started crying and Hood took him home. Hood testified
that he was never arrested for this offense, but he was told
by a neighbor to go to the police station. He did. Eventually
Hood and his dad left the station, though, after Hood's
father informed him that the lawyer had "taken care of
testified that he offended again in 1979. His second victim
was 12 or 13 years old and the son of one of Hood's
co-workers. According to Hood, he went to his co-worker's
house to do odd jobs, and he started grooming the boy by
offering him money and buying him things. One day, when Hood
was changing the tire of the boy's mother's truck,
Hood asked the boy to sit in the driver's seat of the
truck. Hood then asked him to unzip his pants. Hood fondled
him in the truck before taking him to a motel room. Hood
testified that, at the motel, he and the boy fondled each
other's genitals, Hood performed oral sex on the boy, and
Hood rubbed his genitals between the boy's legs.
Hood's co-worker accused Hood of kidnapping her son and
Hood was arrested in 1979. He was charged with sexual assault
and aggravated kidnapping. Hood was ultimately convicted of
kidnapping and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Hood testified that he served two years of his sentence
before being released on parole.
testified that he offended again when he was 27 years old.
His victim was a 10-year-old boy he also met through his
co-workers. Hood testified that he and the boy engaged in
sexual relations including kissing, oral sex, and fondling.
Hood testified that he paid the boy to bring him other boys.
Hood admitted that he took the boy and two other boys to a
motel room and they all engaged in sexual relations.
According to Hood, he engaged in such activities with the
three boys "practically every weekend" for
approximately three months. Hood stated that he gave money to
two of the boys. The boy to whom Hood did not give money,
R.O., eventually reported him. Hood was convicted of sexual
assault with respect to R.O. and was sentenced to 13
years' imprisonment for this offense. He served
approximately four years of this sentence before being
released in 1988.
was 36 years old, Hood was again convicted of aggravated
sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. The
complainant was an 11-year-old boy whom Hood babysat while
his father, a wrecker driver, was away at work. Hood
admitting to forcing himself on the complainant. He testified
that he forced his penis into the complainant's mouth, he
"turned him over" and forced his penis "in
between his legs at first. And then it went into his
anus." Hood testified that he "didn't stop and
[the complainant] was hollering." The sexual abuse
continued for six months. Hood was sentenced to 20 years'
imprisonment on the indecency with a child charge and 35
years' imprisonment on the aggravated sexual assault of a
Hood testified that his next and last victim―whom Hood
abused before returning to jail―was a four-year-old
boy. According to Hood, the boy's parents owned the
dry-cleaning business where he worked, and Hood went to their
house to do odd jobs. Hood testified that he fondled the
boy's genitals and made him fondle Hood's, and he
performed oral sex on the boy. He was ultimately convicted of
aggravated sexual assault of a child for these offenses and
sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment.
close of evidence, the State moved for a partial directed
verdict on the issue of whether Hood is a "repeat
sexually violent offender" as that term is defined by
Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. The State
argued that there was no genuine issue of fact as to whether
Hood had been convicted of more than one sexually violent
offense―that a reasonable mind could draw only one
conclusion from the evidence of Hood's previous offenses.
Hood responded that a directed verdict was improper because
Chapter 841 provided him the right to a trial by jury and, to
the extent this provision conflicts with the directed verdict
procedures permissible under the Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure, the statute prevailed.
trial court granted the State's partial directed verdict
and the remainder of the case proceeded to the jury. A
unanimous jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that Hood is a
"sexually violent predator." The trial court
entered judgment and issued an ...