An 81-year-old sexually violent predator will be returned to a state mental hospital for violating various terms of his outpatient release, including trying to get a male roommate, a judge ruled today.
John David Norman was released to a home in Boulevard on Nov. 7 after participating in the Department of Mental Health's in-hospital sex offender treatment program for six years.
He was arrested Feb. 2 after he gave a Vons bag boy -- who turned out to be a 19-year-old man -- a note with his name and telephone number on it.
Prosecutors said Norman -- who has a history of sexually assaulting and exploiting children dating back to 1960 -- violated 10 conditions of his outpatient release.
Authorities said Norman has convictions for child molestation in Illinois in 1976 and Colorado in 1988. He was also convicted twice in California for distribution of child pornography in 1995 and 1998. His victims were all young males, ages 11-17.
During a daylong hearing today, Deputy District Attorney Phyllis Shess presented evidence that Norman violated the terms of his release by failing to actively participate in treatment. The prosecutor said Norman wasn't interested in the reasons behind his offenses. Shess said Norman just told therapists that he "wasn't going to reoffend."
Norman testified that he didn't think his crimes did any harm to his victims.
"He's not convinced that he did cause harm to any of them," Shess told the judge.
Norman also violated terms of his release by writing letters to a known sex offender and keeping that information from Liberty Healthcare, the agency tasked with running his outpatient program.
Norman testified that he didn't tell Liberty about his attempts to get a male roommate because he was sure they wouldn't approve it.
He said he was desperate for companionship and wanted to interact with more than just security agents.
"I was pretty desperate for some sort of contact with someone who wasn't being paid to be with me," Norman testified.
Not telling officials that he placed an ad in the Gay and Lesbian Times newspaper and opened an account on a phone service was a mistake, Norman admitted.
"I was wrong. I should have thought it out more carefully. I regret that," Norman testified.
In revoking his outpatient status, Judge Bernard Revak said Norman was a unique and talented individual who had no relationships with people, calling him a "tragic figure."
"His whole life has been consumed with sex," the judge said. "I just can't describe it. It's really sad."
Revak called Norman a "failure."
"I feel sorry for you," the judge said.
Norman will be back in treatment at a state mental hospital for the forseeable future, Shess said.
After a year, he can petition the court to be released back into the community on outpatient status, the prosecutor said.
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