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United States v. Bell

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

March 12, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Petitioner - Appellee,
v.
KAYLAN JAY BELL, Respondent - Appellant.

          Argued: January 30, 2018

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at Raleigh. Terrence W. Boyle, District Judge. (5:16-hc-02204-BO)

         ARGUED:

          Jaclyn Lee DiLauro, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant.

          Christopher Michael Anderson, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Louis C. Allen, Acting Federal Public Defender, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant.

          Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney, G. Norman Acker, III, Assistant United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.

          Before NIEMEYER and TRAXLER, Circuit Judges, and SHEDD, Senior Circuit Judge.

         Affirmed by published opinion.

         Judge Traxler wrote the opinion in which Judge Niemeyer and Senior Judge Shedd joined.

          TRAXLER, Circuit Judge:

         Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (the "Act"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 4247-4248, the government may civilly commit a "sexually dangerous person" to the custody of the Attorney General upon the expiration of the person's prison sentence if the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that the person: (1) "has engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation"; (2) "suffers from a serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder"; and (3) as a result, "would have serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released." 18 U.S.C. § 4247(a)(5), (a)(6). Kaylan Bell appeals the district court's order finding him to be sexually dangerous under the Act. We affirm.

         I.

         A.

         Bell is 33 years old. In 1999, when he was 14 years old, he sexually molested his six-year-old half-brother. He was convicted in juvenile court in Utah and received a sentence of suspended detention and counseling. When Bell was approximately 16 years old, he sexually molested his half-brother again and his six-year-old male cousin. Bell bribed his victims to engage in this sexual activity and to remain silent. He was not arrested or charged for these latter offenses. For much of this time, Bell had been placed in a youth home by his mother. However, Bell violated the rules by engaging in consensual sexual acts with peer-age males, and he was removed from the home.

          In 2003, when Bell was 18 years old, he exposed his penis and masturbated in front of at least three 12-year-old boys in a pool locker room. Bell admitted to this conduct, but he was not arrested or charged.

         In May 2004, Bell went to a field across from an elementary school and masturbated within 10 to 15 feet of six or seven small children. Bell admitted that he wanted the children to see him, and he hoped that they would come over and engage in a sexual act with him. Bell also admitted to a responding police officer that he had masturbated at the field as recently as one week prior to the incident and that he fantasized about sexual encounters with children. Bell ...


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