By NATE HUBBARD/Staff
His prison sentence is nearly complete, but Leonard Russell Kidd isn’t going anywhere just yet.
On Monday, Virginia Assistant Attorney General Jill Ryan filed a petition in Wythe County Circuit Court to attempt to have Kidd declared a “sexually violent predator.”
If a judge finds that Kidd meets the qualifications for the label under the state’s nascent Sexually Violent Predators Act, the 30-year-old could become the county’s first offender to be involuntarily committed to a state treatment facility.
Kidd, who according to court paperwork grew up in Wythe County and attended Wytheville Community College, was convicted in 2002 of aggravated sexual battery and given six years to serve on that charge.
The charge stemmed from an accusation that in 2001 Kidd performed oral sex on the 6-year-old son of a woman he was living with in Wytheville.
In an unrelated incident, he was also convicted and sentenced in 2002 to felony assault of a law enforcement officer after police said he head-butted the side of a police car and kicked an officer in the shin in 2000.
On that charge he was ordered to serve six months of a two-year prison sentence.
According to online inmate records on the Department of Corrections Web site, Kidd is incarcerated in Sussex I State Prison. His projected release date was Oct. 19 before Judge Josiah Showalter Jr. signed a hold order Tuesday that keeps Kidd incarcerated while the civil commitment case is pending.
In her petition, Ryan wrote that a psychologist had “determined that because of his mental abnormalities and/or personality disorders, [Kidd] finds it difficult to control his predatory behavior, which makes him likely to engage in sexually violent acts.”
Attorney James Turk was assigned to represent Kidd earlier this week. When reached Thursday, he said he couldn’t offer any comment on the case as he hadn’t yet had a chance to review Kidd’s file.
The General Assembly passed the Sexually Violent Predators Act in 1999, but didn’t provide funding for the civil commitment process until 2003, according to a guide on the Act written by the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest.
Multiple other states have similar civil commitment acts and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of their constitutionality after a challenge to the Kansas law in 1997.
In February 2008, the state opened the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation, a $62 million facility in Burkeville designed specifically to house and treat civilly committed sexually violent predators.
Upon opening, the center accepted 61 residents from a temporary facility, according to a press release from the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, which operates the center. A department spokeswoman said in February that the center had 119 residents at the 300-bed facility.
Although a successful petition by the state commits sexually violent predators to the facility indefinitely, the Code of Virginia mandates regular reviews of each person’s treatment.
At the review hearings, the first of which is held a year after the initial commitment, the court can determine that the committed person is no longer a sexually violent predator and grant outright release from the treatment center. The court can also grant a conditional release where the person is freed from the facility, but continuously monitored by a GPS or other tracking device.
With the filing of the petition Monday, a probable cause hearing must now be held within 90 days for a judge to rule if the case can proceed to a trial.
At the first hearing, for which a date had not been set as of Friday morning, Ryan must demonstrate probable cause that Kidd had previously been convicted of a sexually violent offense and has a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes him likely to reoffend.
Dr. Doris Nevin, a Roanoke-based licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex offender treatment provider, conducted an evaluation of Kidd on June 1.
A copy of her report on the examination included in Kidd’s court file shows that Nevin found him to have an antisocial personality disorder and exhibit paraphilia, or sexually abnormal desires.
Nevin did not specify a type of paraphilia, but the designation accompanies numerous deviant behaviors, including pedophilia.
According to the presentence report for his sexual battery conviction, which Nevin cited in her own report, an investigator also interviewed the 12-year-old brother of the 6-year-old boy Kidd was convicted of sexually assaulting. The 12-year-old told police that Kidd had once been tickling him on the couch and “accidentally touched his private area.”
Nevin also stated that “records suggest that he may have engaged in sexual acts on separate occasions with two additional little boys.”
In a summary of Kidd’s criminal record included in her report, Nevin also detailed an incident that led to Kidd being convicted of assault and battery as a juvenile.
According to the report, Kidd, a 1997 George Wythe High School graduate, was accused of sexually assaulting a younger student in a boy’s bathroom at his high school during his sophomore year.
In Nevin’s summary of the encounter, she wrote that Kidd was immediately suspended for the remainder of his 10th-grade year, but due to his being classified as a special education student (for being “seriously emotionally disturbed and severely learning disabled,” Nevin stated in another part of the report) he could not be permanently suspended.
“He was never allowed to again use the public bathrooms of the school, and a teacher’s aide was hired to remain with him at all times between the time he returned to school in the eleventh grade and his graduation,” the psychologist wrote.
Nevin indicated that a presentence report stated that Kidd could have been charged with aggravated sexual battery for the incident, but, at the request of the victim’s parents, he was only charged with assault and battery. The psychologist also noted, however, that Kidd said he was never questioned by law enforcement about the encounter.
Overall, Kidd has had numerous run-ins with the law dating back to his teenage years and also told Nevin that he regularly used illegal drugs and drank heavily.
His behavior, according to Nevin’s report, hasn’t improved during his prison term as he’s been cited for 29 offenses ranging from disobeying direct orders and engaging in sexual acts to possessing contraband and damaging property.
“Such a varied pattern of rule breaking is consistent with Mr. Kidd not complying with expected behavior, even within the confines of prison,” Nevin wrote, adding in another part of the report that Kidd “has a history across his records of impulsivity, irresponsibility, and of acting out behavior.”
During her evaluation, Nevin also administered various tests to examine Kidd’s risk for reoffending were he to be released.
His score on one test, Nevin wrote, “places him at a high risk to offend.” On another, the Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide, Nevin stated that Kidd’s score puts him “in a group of sex offenders who demonstrated a 100 percent probability of violent recidivism within seven years.”
Earlier this year, Bland County also received its first petition from the state to have an inmate whose sentence was ending declared a sexually violent predator.
A jury trial for William Dewey Jr. is scheduled to be held in Bland County Circuit Court on Oct. 26.
Nate Hubbard can be reached at 228-6611 or email@example.com.