Heard: November 6, 2017.
Law, Sex offender, Self-incrimination. Due Process of Law,
Sex offender. Evidence, Sex offender, Prior misconduct.
Practice, Civil, Sex offender. Sex Offender. Civil action
commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 13,
case was tried before Brian A. Davis, J.
M. Kenneally for the defendant.
A. Jordan, Assistant District Attorney (Nicole A. Poirier,
Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the
Present: Agnes, Maldonado, & McDonough, JJ.
a jury trial, the defendant, William Bradshaw, was found to
be a "sexually dangerous person." See G. L. c.
123A, §§ 1, 12, 14. In accordance with the statute,
the judge committed the defendant to the Massachusetts
Treatment Center (treatment center) for an indeterminate
period of from one day to life.
appeal followed and requires us to determine whether the
judge erred in allowing the Commonwealth to call a witness
who testified to instances of uncharged sexual misconduct
committed against her by the defendant. For the reasons that
follow, we conclude that such evidence was admissible because
it was relevant, it did not violate restrictions on the use
of character evidence, and its probative value far outweighed
any danger of unfair prejudice.
September, 2013, the district attorney filed a petition to
civilly commit the defendant as a sexually dangerous person
pursuant to G. L. c. 123A, § 12, based on the
defendant's prior adjudications of delinquency and his
numerous convictions of sexual offenses. See
Commonwealth v. MacLeod, 437 Mass. 286,
290-291 (2002) (describing process pursuant to G. L. c. 123A,
§ 12 (b), by which appropriate district attorney is
notified six months in advance of release from custody of
person serving sentence for any one of enumerated sexual
offenses, and opportunity that said prosecutor has to
determine whether prisoner is likely to be sexually
dangerous, and, if so, to file petition in Superior Court
alleging that prisoner is sexually dangerous, along with
sufficient facts to support same). The filing of a petition
by the district attorney under G. L. c. 123A, § 12 (b),
triggers a probable cause hearing, see G. L. c. 123A, §
12 (c),  which, in turn may lead to a trial. See G.
L. c. 123A, § 14. See Commonwealth v.
Gross, 447 Mass. 691, 693-694 (2006) .
order to prove that a person is a "sexually dangerous
person," the Commonwealth must establish, by the
standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person
was "convicted of or adjudicated as a delinquent
juvenile or youthful offender by reason of a sexual offense
and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality
disorder which makes the person likely to engage in sexual
offenses if not confined to a secure facility." G. L. c.
123A, § 1. In the present case, the Commonwealth
presented evidence at trial of the defendant's
adjudications and convictions, which consisted of a 1999
juvenile commitment for indecent assault and battery on a
child under the age of fourteen and two 2012 convictions for rape
of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under
the age of fourteen. Each of the three victims in these cases
were prepubescent girls (ages three, six, and eight) who were
relatives of the defendant.
qualified examiners diagnosed Mr. Bradshaw with pedophilia
and antisocial personality disorder. They also stated that
the existence of these disorders contributed to their
conclusions that he suffers from a mental
abnormality and a personality disorder,  as defined in G.
L. c. 123A, § 1. Doctors Johnson and Belle testified
that Mr. Bradshaw had not sufficiently progressed in
treatment, had not come to understand his offending behavior,
and was likely to reoffend sexually if released from
confinement. Dr. Katrin Rouse-Weir, who testified on behalf
of Mr. Bradshaw, concluded that he was not sexually
dangerous. She testified that though Mr. Bradshaw suffered
from pedophilia and antisocial personality disorder, which
satisfied the statutory definitions of mental abnormality and
personality disorder, he was unlikely to reoffend. The two
other qualified examiners testified that Mr. Bradshaw was not
of advanced age and did not suffer from poor health, factors
that are both associated with lower risks of reoffending.
They also noted that Mr. Bradshaw has struggled with
substance abuse which, left unaddressed, may diminish
inhibitions related to offending.
to trial, B.B., who also was related to the defendant, spoke
with a prosecutor and an investigator and recounted the
sexual abuse perpetrated against her by the defendant while
she was between the ages of five and eleven, which spanned
the years 1995-2001. B.B.'s pretrial statements, which
mirror her trial testimony in all material respects, were
subsequently memorialized in a report that was provided to
the defendant prior to the trial and submitted to the
qualified examiners assigned to the case. The defendant filed
a pretrial motion to exclude B.B.'s testimony for a
number of reasons, including a claim that it ...