Notorious Schenectady sex offender Alan Horowitz will remain in state custody, officially under civil confinement, after a judge ruled that he cannot be safely released into the community.
State Supreme Court Justice Vincent J. Reilly Jr. issued the ruling. Horowitz, a convicted sex offender, a decade ago fled his parole to India before being captured and returned to prison.
Reilly ruled in March after the first part of confinement proceedings that Horowitz has a disorder that predisposes him to commit sex offenses and has “serious difficulty in controlling” that urge.
In his ruling this month, issued after further testimony, Reilly ordered Horowitz’ continued confinement, finding that no level of supervision can prevent Horowitz from reoffending.
Reilly specifically noted Horowitz’ flight to India, his refusal to engage in treatment and his views that he did nothing wrong.
“[Horowitz] has yet to acknowledge any responsibility for the wrongness of his own behavior,” Reilly wrote. “The court is clearly convinced that he will reoffend.”
Horowitz’ appointed attorney argued last fall that Horowitz could control his impulses. The attorney representing the state argued that Horowitz has repeatedly reoffended or put himself in positions to do so.
The state had sought to keep Horowitz in custody as a danger to society, calling him among the “worst of the worst” sex offenders.
Horowitz’s sex-offense convictions date back more than 30 years to Maryland. Working as a psychiatrist there, Horowitz abused two boys in his care. He received probation and lost his medical license.
He made his way to Schenectady County by 1990, where he admitted to raping a 9-year-old boy. His plea covered 40 other charges alleging Horowitz sodomized three boys and sexually abused a girl locally between December 1990 and May 1991. He received 10 to 20 years.
His case gained renewed prominence in 2006 when he fled state parole supervision and sent his parole officer a defiant letter postmarked in Israel. He vowed never to return to the U.S. After being returned to America, he completed his sentence in 2012, but has remained in state custody pending the completion of confinement proceedings.
After his March ruling, Reilly had to choose between confinement and strict supervision. In supporting his confinement ruling, Reilly noted Horowitz’ history of sex offending, admitted pedophilia disorder and history of flight to India. The judge also noted that once in India, he quickly associated himself with children.
Reilly wrote that he was most persuaded by testimony from two doctors who reviewed Horowitz’ treatment records and found that he has failed to respond to sex-offender treatment and even challenges treatment providers’ qualifications.
“The court acknowledges the need to balance the need to protect the public and provide treatment as well as [Horowitz’] liberty interests,” Reilly wrote. “The preponderance of the evidence is clear and convincing and compels the court to conclude [Horowitz] should be committed to a secure treatment facility for care, treatment and control until such time as he no longer requires confinement.”
At the end of March 2015, the state had 311 offenders confined. Of those, 109 had consented to confinement and 202 took their cases to trial. After annual review hearings, 65 of those have been released under intensive supervision and treatment.
Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.