Sex offender's case remains a cloudy issue

The case of Norman Alan Mongeon, one of two Mohave County violent sex offenders committed to the Arizona State Hospital in Phoenix, remains in limbo after another hearing Monday at which he failed to attend.

Mongeon's attorney, Eric Engan, said that his client again refuses to have a civil trial.

He said the 43-year-old former Kingman man wants to remain at the hospital.

Engan could not answer what would happen to his client if Mongeon never receives a civil trial.

"It's in everyone's best interest to leave Mr.

Mongeon where he is," Chief Deputy County Attorney Jace Zack said.

Superior Court Judge James Chavez, who postponed Mongeon's civil trial originally set for May, ordered another status hearing for July 10 to see where Mongeon's case stands.

With the upcoming release of a sex offender from prison, a county's attorney office petitions for a hearing and a civil jury trial is held in Superior Court to determine if the sex offender should be committed to the state hospital indefinitely.

Mongeon has been committed to a special treatment program at the state hospital since November 1997.

He was arrested in June 1997 at a Kingman residence for indecent exposure of a child, molestation of a child and public sexual indecency, records show.

He was never convicted but a Mohave County judge ruled that he was mentally incompetent and committed him to the hospital.

Mongeon's case could hinge on whether the Arizona Supreme Court reaches a decision on a ruling by the Arizona Appeals Court on the constitutionality of the violent sex offender program.

The appellate court ruled Feb.

15 that sex offenders should not be sentenced to a special treatment program at the Phoenix hospital after completing their prison sentences.

More than 130 sex offenders are confined in the hospital.

Mongeon could be released from the hospital even against his will if the appellate court ruling stands.

In the first of its kind civil trial in April, the county's other sex offender, Wilber Clarence Wilson, was ruled a sexual violent person and will remain in the Arizona State Hospital indefinitely.

Wilson, 75, has been committed at the state hospital for more than a year for sexual crimes committed three years ago in Bullhead City.

Wilson of Bullhead City was charged with aggravated assault on a child at a shopping center in 1997.

He received probation until he violated his probation and was sentenced to a year and a half in prison before he was committed to the state hospital.