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In re Voisine

Supreme Court of North Dakota

December 18, 2019

In the Interest of Raymond Voisine,
v.
Raymond J. Voisine, Respondent and Appellant Ladd R. Erickson, State's Attorney, Petitioner and Appellee

          Appeal from the District Court of Sheridan County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce A. Romanick, Judge.

         REVERSED.

          Ladd Erickson, State's Attorney, Washburn, ND, for petitioner and appellee.

          Tyler Morrow, Grand Forks, ND, for respondent and appellant.

          OPINION

          Crothers, Justice.

         [¶1] Raymond Voisine appeals from a district court order finding he remains a sexually dangerous individual. He argues the district court erred by (1) granting the State's request for continuance, (2) not holding a hearing within 365 days of the previous report or within a calendar year, (3) allowing the State to file and rely on an expert's report that was filed late, and (4) finding by clear and convincing evidence that Voisine remains a sexually dangerous individual. The dispositive issue is whether clear and convincing evidence exists establishing Voisine remains a sexually dangerous individual. We reverse.

         I

         [¶2] "In 2004, Voisine was incarcerated after he pled guilty to gross sexual imposition for acts involving a six-year-old victim." Interest of Voisine, 2018 ND 181, ¶ 2, 915 N.W.2d 647. In Voisine, at ¶¶ 2-4, 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.
"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."

         [¶3] The district court denied his subsequent petitions for discharge from commitment, which were affirmed on appeal. See Interest of Voisine, 2018 ND 181, ¶ 1, 915 N.W.2d 647; Interest of Voisine, 2016 ND 254, ¶ 24, 888 N.W.2d 781; Interest of Voisine, 2014 ND 178, ¶ 2, 859 N.W.2d 930; Interest of Voisine, 2012 ND 250, ¶ 1, 823 N.W.2d 786. This Court also affirmed a district court order denying post-conviction relief. Voisine v. State, 2014 ND 98, ¶ 2, 859 N.W.2d 930.

         [¶4] On October 9, 2018, Voisine requested a discharge hearing. On October 17, 2018, the hearing was scheduled for February 1, 2019. On January 30, 2019, the State requested a continuance. Voisine objected to the continuance. On January 31, 2019, the district court continued the hearing until March 25, 2019. After the ...


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