Court finds DA’s petition true, confirms man is sexually violent predator
Mendez had been convicted previously of five qualifying sexually violent crimes
– After hearing closing arguments at the conclusion of a four-day court trial, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Timothy S. Covello recently made a finding that there was evidence to grant San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow’s petition for the civil commitment of Alfredo Arcilio Mendez (62) as a sexually violent predator. The Honorable Judge Covello returned his finding of “true” on the petition after several days of evidence.
California’s Sexually Violent Predator Law (SVP) law allows a district attorney to petition for the continued detention of an individual beyond their parole period, where that person has been sentenced to state prison for one or more sexually violent offenses, has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and poses a present danger to the safety of others because they are likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if released into the community. The SVP law is a civil law, not criminal. This means that the law’s purpose is the protection of the community by providing treatment and rehabilitation, not additional punishment. Individuals committed under the SVP law are generally confined within a locked hospital setting, such as Coalinga State Hospital.
“This ruling will ensure that Mr. Mendez is detained in a hospital setting where he does not pose a threat to our community,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “We are committed to doing everything within our authority to protect the people of San Luis Obispo County from dangerous sexual predators like Mr. Mendez.”
During the trial, it was proven that Mendez had been convicted previously of five qualifying sexually violent crimes. Mendez’s prior convictions occurred in two counties in separate criminal prosecutions and included:
- Forcible lewd acts on a child and forcible oral copulation on a child (age six) in San Diego County in 1986, and
- Forcible lewd acts on a child (age 10), forcible lewd acts on a child (age eight), and forcible lewd acts on a child (age six) in San Luis Obispo County in 1999.
The court also heard evidence that while Mendez was working at a child day care facility, he sexually assaulted three female children (all age seven); in 1985 he was arrested in Long Beach County for forcible rape of a child under 16 and in 1999-2000 he sexually assaulted a male child (age three).
Two of the nine survivors testified about their violent assaults. In addition, four psychologists who evaluated Mendez gave their opinion that he has a diagnosed mental disorder of pedophilia. This diagnosis means Mendez is predisposed to commit sexually violent offenses on children. Additionally, two of the psychologists who assessed him found that his mental disorder makes him a substantial and well-founded danger to the safety of others and that it is likely that he will engage in predatory sexually violent criminal behavior if released into the community.
After the finding, Judge Covello signed an order committing Mendez to Coalinga State Hospital as an SVP where his progress will be reviewed bi-annually by the California Department of State Hospitals.
This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kimberly R. Dittrich who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Office Sexual Violence Unit. The case was investigated by the Grover Beach Police Department and San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation.