Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Former Northshore man sentenced to state mental hospital

LAKEPORT – A man serving a state prison term for sex crimes against children will be heading next to a state mental hospital.


On Wednesday, Scott Merlin Bagley, 47, formerly of Nice, was determined to be a sexually violent predator by a jury after a trial before Judge Richard Martin in Department 2 in Lake County Superior Court in Lakeport.


The Lake County District Attorney’s office filed a petition alleging that Bagley was a sexually violent predator prior to his being released on parole and back into the community.


The sexually violent predator trial was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Edward Borg, who is the specially assigned child sexual assault prosecutor in the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Bagley was represented at the trial by defense attorney Komnith Moth.


The purpose of the sexually violent predator trial was to attempt to extend Bagley’s prison commitment before he could be released from prison, in order to protect the community, the district attorney's office reported.


Sexually violent predator proceedings are a form of civil commitment codified at Welfare and Institutions Code section 6600. All persons convicted of a crime of sexual violence are evaluated by the California Department of Mental Health prior to their release on parole to determine if the inmate meets the criteria to be deemed a sexually violent predator.


At trial, to establish that a person is a sexually violent predator, the prosecutor must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the inmate has been convicted of committing sexually violent offenses against one or more victims; the inmate has a diagnosed mental disorder; as a result of that diagnosed mental disorder, the inmate is a danger to the health and safety of others because it is likely that he will engage in sexually violent predatory criminal behavior; and that is necessary to keep him in custody in a secure facility to ensure the health and safety of others.


Evidence at the trial, which commenced April 27, established that Bagley has 11 qualifying convictions, all violations of Penal Code section 288(a), lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, the district attorney's office reported.


Bagley was initially convicted of two violations of section 288(a) with two separate victims in Sonoma County in 1984, and served a prison term for those offenses. In 1994, Bagley was convicted of nine violations of section 288(a) involving three separate victims in Lake County. Bagley’s victims ranged in age from 8 to 12 years old. All of his victims were male.


Testimony by two Department of Mental Health psychologists, Deborah Inman and Andrea Shelley, established that Bagley suffers from pedophilia, a deviant sexual interest in prepubescent children. Both doctors testified that in their opinion Bagley posed a significant threat to the community if released because of his pedophilia and his demonstrated history of recidivism.


On Friday, Judge Martin ordered Mr. Bagley committed to the State Hospital at Coalinga for an indeterminate term.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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