|For Immediate Release
Case # M-13757
October 18, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
CHILD MOLESTER COMMITTED AS SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR FOR MOLESTING THREE YOUNG GIRLS IN 1981 AND 1990
SANTA ANA – A child molester was committed to a state mental hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) after a unanimous jury found Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, that the offender is a continued threat to children and the community. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA or People) filed a petition to have Steven McCoy, 59, committed as an SVP for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old and 12-year-old girl in 1981 and an 11-year-old girl in 1990.
Under the law, potential SVPs are subject to mental health reviews by the Department of Mental Health (DMH) prior to completion of their criminal sentence. If the People are able to prove that the defendant meets SVP criteria, a petition is filed to have the defendant civilly committed. There are three criteria that must be met in order to designate a person as SVP. First, the defendant must have committed at least one sexually violent offense. Second, he/she must be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Finally, it must be found that he/she is likely to re-offend unless he/she is held in custody and treated.
If a unanimous jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant meets the SVP criteria, the defendant is committed to a secure mental care facility for treatment until he is safe for release.
Prior to 2008, persons committed as SVPs were entitled to a jury trial every two years and the burden of proof was on the People to show that the offender posed a continued threat to the community. In 2008, the law changed, committing SVPs to an indeterminate term. Once committed, the burden is on the offender to show that he is no longer a danger to society.
SVPs that have been civilly committed following a jury trial are granted an annual evaluation by a DMH psychologist, who will opine whether the patient still meets SVP criteria. The hospital director where the offender is housed will also make a recommendation as to the offender.
After the annual review, if the hospital director or psychologist believes that the offender’s condition has so changed that he no longer meets SVP criteria, the offender is granted a jury trial, where the burden is again on the People to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender meets the SVP criteria.
1981 Sexual Assault of Two Young Girls
On March 31, 1981, McCoy was renting a room in a house with the backyard adjacent to a school yard in Colton, CA. While school was in session, McCoy approached and offered 8-year-old Jane Doe #1 and 12-year-old Jane Doe #2 $5 to climb over the fence into the backyard where he was standing. After climbing the fence, the defendant told the girls to come into the house and into his bedroom. The victims were told to remove their clothes from the waist down and lay down on the bed. McCoy rubbed his penis on their upper thighs, near the genitals, and then cleaned them off with a wash cloth. McCoy explained that if the victims told anyone about what happened, they would get into trouble.