Repeat sex offender committed under Ryce Act
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A man convicted as a sex offender was committed instead of being released from prison, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
63-year-old Eddie Caldwell was originally set for release after prosecutors say he had a long history of arrests and spent the last 30 years in prison.
Caldwell’s most recent offenses were in 2010 when he was charged with sexual battery and lewd and lascivious offense on a disabled adult.
Assistant State Attorney Zach Taylor told jurors Tuesday that Caldwell had been to prison 11 times and was “unusually persistent” in repeating his behavior and would likely commit a crime again.
“He’s been offending and committing serious crimes, the evidence will show, since “M*A*S*H” was on television and “Dynasty” was popular and before there were cell phones,” Taylor told jurors. “It’s hard to (overlook) these 11 incarcerations and this most recent case.”
The jury found Caldwell was a sexually violent offender under the Ryce Act and was ordered by the judge to be held at the Florida Civil Commitment Center where he could receive treatment.
The Jimmy Ryce Act is a process for the most dangerous sexual offenders in the state. After their prison sentence, the state must prove the offender suffers from a mental abnormality or a personality disorder, and that the disorder shows he would likely commit a sexually violent offense again.
He is to be re-evaluated every year.
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