Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin
THE 331ST DISTRICT COURT OF TRAVIS COUNTY NO.
D-1-GN-17-002713, THE HONORABLE DAVID CRAIN, JUDGE PRESIDING
Justices Goodwin, Baker, and Smith
an appeal from final judgment following a jury trial on the
State's petition to classify Rolando Garcia as a sexually
violent predator subject to involuntary civil commitment.
See Tex. Health & Safety Code § 841.003.
The jury returned a verdict, by a 10-2 vote, that Garcia is
not a sexually violent predator and the district court
entered final judgment reflecting that verdict. In two issues
on appeal, the State argues: (1) that the district court
abused its discretion by failing to admit certain evidence,
and (2) that the district court erred by entering judgment on
a non-unanimous jury finding. We will affirm.
has committed sexual offenses against multiple adolescent and
pre-pubescent minors, including his own daughter. Garcia
points to abuse of alcohol and experimentation with illegal
substances as the primary cause of this conduct. After a jury
convicted Garcia of his most recent offense, Garcia spent
years in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice (TDCJ). Once he was eligible for parole, he began
participating in a required sex offender treatment program
that included various forms of therapy supervised by licensed
his confinement, the State petitioned to have Garcia
classified as a sexually violent predator subject to
involuntary civil commitment and confinement pursuant to
Chapter 841 of the Health and Safety Code. See Tex.
Health & Safety Code §§ 841.001-.153. In
response, Garcia argued that he has not had any sexual
contact with minors since the mid-1990s, although he conceded
that he was in State custody and did not have access to
minors during most of that time. He also argued that he
experienced a spiritual awakening while confined and no
longer desires to engage in substance abuse and is no longer
attracted to minors.
the proceedings, the State and Garcia disagreed as to whether
certain evidence should be admitted for the jury's
consideration. Garcia had written a series of personal
statements during therapy sessions at TDCJ. Garcia's
counsel obtained copies of these statements during discovery
and listed them on its production logs but refused to produce
them to the State, citing the privilege against self
incrimination afforded by the Fifth Amendment. The State then
filed a motion to compel.
parties argued the motion to the district court during trial
and outside the presence of the jury. After the district
court concluded the parties were not prepared to present the
governing law, the district court afforded the parties an
additional day to research the issue. The court entertained
further argument the next day but did not review the
statements in camera before ultimately denying the motion to
State finished trying its case to the jury, and the district
court charged the jury:
Do you find beyond a reasonable doubt that Rolando Garcia is
a Sexually Violent Predator?
1. A "no" answer means that at least 10 jurors
agree that the answer to the question is "no." If
at least 10 jurors agree that the answer to the question is
"no," those jurors must sign the verdict.
2. A "yes" answer must be unanimous. This means all
12 jurors must agree the answer to the question is
"yes." Only the presiding juror signs the verdict.
jury answered: "No." The ten jurors agreeing to
answer the question in the ...