Nushawn Williams to remain confined

BUFFALO, NY-- Last week, a decision on the future of Nushawn Williams was made by a judge, but it had not been released until Wednesday.

The state had been holding Williams under civil confinement even though his sentence for knowingly infecting women with HIV was over.

Williams appealed that confinement, and we now know what the judge has ruled.

Nushawn Williams will remain confined, despite serving a 12-year prison sentence that ended in 2010.

You can read that decision here:

State Supreme Court Judge John Michalski ordered that Williams be committed to a secure treatment facility as designated by the Office of Mental Health.

It was last June when a Chautauqua County Jury determined that Nushawn Williams had a mental abnormality and should be detained. They determined that based on all the evidence presented that the state's case was clear and convincing that Nushawn Williams is a dangerous sex offender requiring confinement.

"If the courts never deem him to be rehabilitated, he may be there for a long time or forever," says attorney and legal analyst Barry Covert.

Dennis Vacco was Attorney General when the state legislature passed the Mental Hygiene Law.

"The process itself, there's enough trip wires in the process to allow somebody like Nushawn Williams to escape the civil confinement if he fits into the legislative parameters," says Vacco.

Within the next year, Williams could try to prove he no longer has a mental abnormality. But given the facts in this case, Covert says his release is unlikely.

"I think if he already received treatment, and that hasn't been working, or if now he continues to receive treatment, that perhaps we're going to have a situation where he can never be released, because the treatment can not address the concerns he had," says Covert.

Vacco is not surprised by the judge's decision and says Williams fits the bill when it comes to the law's intent.

"It was designed to keep the most vicious sexual predators from ever getting back out on the street, and in this instance, I couldn't think of anybody who is more eligible for the application of this statute than Nushawn Williams," says Vacco.

Covert says on average it costs about $2,500 a month to keep someone locked-up and if Williams receives mental health treatment, which is expected, the cost to taxpayers would be even higher.


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