The Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals Tuesday backed Jasper County Circuit Court Judge Jon Dermott's decision to keep a sexually violent predator committed.
The panel rejected Rodney Kapprelian's claim that his good behavior while he was locked up was a better indicator how he would behave if he were released, than his long record of molesting children. Kapprelian, 49, said it was "mere speculation" that he would commit more sex crimes.
According to the opinion, between August 1984 and June 1995, Kapprelian sexually abused 13 young boys in Washington, California, Florida, and Missouri, beginning when he was 29. Many of the crimes occurred when he was on parole for prior sexual molestation convictions. In 1995, he was imprisoned after pleading guilty to statutory sodomy in the first degree for engaging in deviate sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old boy.
Right before Kapprelian was scheduled to be released in April 2003, the state filed a petition to commit him as a sexually violent predator. A bench trial was held before Judge Dermott on July 9, 2004. The only witness was Dr. Steve Jackson, a licensed psychologist, whose written evaluation was also admitted into the record.
The doctor noted that previous time in jail had not kept Kapprelian from committing more crimes when he was released, and that pedophilia does not go away. Testimony was offered that Kapprelian did not respond to sexual offender treatment. He had completed the first phase of the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program, but was kicked out of the second "for failure to apply the concepts he had learned during the first phase. Kapprelian was found to be evasive, untruthful and manipulative" by the staff and he was considered to have a "very, very high risk of reoffending.
During his treatment, he had admitted that he tried to get children to harm themselves for his sexual gratification.
The doctor listed the following reasons why Kapprelian should not be released:
-He had engaged in sexual masochism with children
-He had committed a large number of crimes over a long period of time.
-While on parole for one sex offense, he "absconded and molested another child."
-He has a history of extensive drug and alcohol abuse and had been a homosexual prostitute
-He did not complete the sexual offender treatment program.