In the Interest of Raymond Voisine Jonathan Byers, Special Assistant State's Attorney, Petitioner and Appellee
Raymond J. Voisine, Respondent and Appellant
from the District Court of Sheridan County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce B. Haskell, Judge.
Jonathan R. Byers, Office of the Attorney General, Bismarck,
ND, petitioner and appellee.
M. Morrow, Bismarck, ND, for respondent and appellant.
1] Raymond Voisine appeals from an order denying his petition
for discharge from treatment as a sexually dangerous
individual. We conclude clear and convincing evidence
supports the district court's findings and order and the
court did not misapply the doctrine of res judicata. We
2] In 2004, Voisine was incarcerated after he pled guilty to
gross sexual imposition for acts involving a six-year-old
victim. In Matter of Voisine, 2010 ND 17,
¶¶ 2-4, 777 N.W.2d 908, this Court discussed the
underlying facts leading to his incarceration and subsequent
commitment as a sexually dangerous individual:
Voisine [was, at that time, ] a 65-year-old male with four
adult children, R.V., P.P., H.M. and L.K. In 2003, an officer
with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation
executed a search warrant on Voisine's home for an
unrelated firearms charge. During the search, the officer
found sexually explicit photographs under the pillow on
Voisine's bed. The photographs pictured H.M., one of
Voisine's three adult daughters. DNA analysis was
performed and established with over 99.99 percent certainty
that Voisine fathered two children with H.M.
In light of Voisine's incestuous relations, interviews
were conducted with his acquaintances. Voisine's grandson
reported that when he was 6 or 7 years old, he was forced to
stroke Voisine's penis for 5 to 10 minutes. The
ex-husband of H.M. reported that Voisine threatened him with
a firearm and fathered a child with P.P., Voisine's adult
daughter. Voisine's ex-wife reported that Voisine beat
and threatened her while they were married. The current
boyfriend of Voisine's ex-wife reported that
Voisine's children were sexually abused when they were
minors. Voisine's daughter, L.K., reported that she was
born to a 17-year-old mother who was impregnated by a
34-year-old Voisine. L.K. also reported that Voisine
physically abused her when she was young and that she once
walked in on Voisine unzipping his pants behind a naked and
bent-over H.M. L.K. later denied stating H.M. was naked.
Following the investigation, Voisine was charged with gross
sexual imposition for sexual contact with his 6- or
7-year-old grandson and with promoting obscenity to a minor
for allegedly showing pornography to a second, 9- or
10-year-old grandson who was also Voisine's son. Voisine
pled guilty to gross sexual imposition, and the promotion of
obscenity charge was dismissed. He was incarcerated, and upon
his release in 2008, the State petitioned to commit him as a
sexually dangerous individual. The State alleged that in
addition to the sexual contact underlying Voisine's gross
sexual imposition conviction, that Voisine sired three
children with two of his daughters, that Voisine sexually
abused his daughters as minors, that Voisine conceived a
child with a 16-year-old girl in Maine and that Voisine
promoted obscenity to a minor by showing pornography to his
9- or 10-year-old grandson/son.
3] After he was released from custody, the district court
revoked his probation for failing to complete sex offender
treatment while incarcerated. In a post-conviction
proceeding, his probation revocation was reversed.
Voisine v. State, 2008 ND 91, ¶ 17, 748 N.W.2d
429. The State petitioned to commit Voisine for treatment as
a sexually dangerous individual, which the district court
subsequently granted. This Court reversed and remanded the
case for further proceedings in Voisine, 2010 ND 17,
¶ 15, 777 N.W.2d 908, and after further proceedings
summarily affirmed an order committing Voisine for treatment.
Interest of Voisine, 2010 ND 241, ¶ 1, 795
N.W.2d 38. The district court denied his subsequent petitions
for discharge from commitment, which were affirmed on appeal.
See Interest of Voisine, 2012 ND 250, ¶ 1, 823
N.W.2d 786; Interest of Voisine, 2014 ND 178, ¶
2, 859 N.W.2d 930; Interest of Voisine, 2016 ND 254,
¶ 24, 888 N.W.2d 781. This Court also summarily affirmed
a district court order denying another petition for
post-conviction relief from the conviction. Voisine v.
State, 2014 ND 98, ¶ 2, 859 N.W.2d 930.
4] In December 2016, Voisine again petitioned the district
court for discharge. The court held the review hearing on
November 30, 2017, during which the State's expert, Dr.
Peter Byrne, and Voisine's independent evaluator, Dr.
Stacey Benson, testified. Both experts also submitted to the
court their respective reports evaluating Voisine. The court
subsequently entered an order finding clear and convincing
evidence that Voisine continues to meet the statutory
criteria and is in need of treatment and rehabilitation as a
sexually dangerous individual. The court ordered that he
continue to be civilly committed for treatment.
5] This Court reviews civil commitments of sexually dangerous
individuals under a "modified clearly erroneous"
standard of review. Interest of Tanner, 2017 ND 153,
¶ 4, 897 N.W.2d 901. We will affirm a district
court's order denying a petition for discharge unless it
is induced by an erroneous view of the law or we are firmly
convinced it is not supported by clear and convincing
evidence. Id.; Matter of Wolff, 2011 ND 76,
¶ 5, 796 N.W.2d 644. We accord "great deference to
the [district] court's credibility ...