Saturday, September 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Predators Sue NY Over Indefinite Confinement

MANHATTAN (CN) - A class of more than 127 "sexually violent predators" claims former Gov. George Pataki imprisoned them indefinitely in psychiatric facilities after they did their time in prison. The class also sued a host of psychiatric center executives and Department of Corrections employees for wrongful detainment.

"The putative class is compromised of all 'All individuals who while in prison were determined to be Sexually Violent Predators ("SVP") and committed to a State psychiatric hospital or a designated secure inpatient psychiatric program pursuant to New York State Mental Hygiene Law § 9.27 between September 2005 and April 13, 2007," according to the 97-page complaint.

The plaintiffs say they should have been released, or should have been released sooner.

The complaint adds: "The Class includes over 127 individuals, approximately 78 of whom have been released from psychiatric incarceration and, due to their 'sex offender' designation by the State, frequently have great difficulty securing permanent residence. Consequently, given the peripatetic nature of most of the Class, it will difficult to locate the individual members."

The case details individual claimants' plights. For example, after a "brief" meeting with a physician, one prisoner, Leon Smith, says he has been "unlawfully confined, against his will, in Central New York Psychiatric Center" from 2006 until today. "During the entirety of his confinement," the complaint alleges, "Smith has not been permitted to leave, and has been kept in a segregated wing behind double locked doors."

The plaintiffs seek damages for unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery, and abuse of process. They are represented in New York County Court by Reza Rezvani of Manhattan.

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