Three years ago, serial rapist Dougal Samuels sued Coalinga State Hospital, claiming the state facility housing sexually violent predators made him sick. The then three-year-old hospital's ventilation system caused Samuels to cough, suffer chills, lose his appetite, contract Valley fever and pneumonia and eventually require spinal surgery, his complaint alleged.
His target was the hospital, which he claimed knew the ventilation system was faulty. But he also used his health claims to argue against his continued incarceration, saying the surgery caused him limited mobility and, at 55, that he is too old and frail to ever rape again.
A judge didn't see it that way this week.
In the lawsuit against the hospital, a federal magistrate last year first denied Samuels' request that he be appointed counsel but later allowed the case to go forward. It's still knotted up in court.
A Superior Court judge Monday issued an order that could keep Samuels in a mental hospital for the rest of his life, however. This was after a one-month commitment trial that ended with a jury unanimously finding him to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) who poses a continued threat to society.
Samuels was convicted in 1989 of raping two women and sexually assaulting another two after meeting and approaching them at Orange County bars. He was sentenced on March 17, 1989, to 18 years in state prison and has been in the custody of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) since 1996.
Samuels' four female rape victims from the 1989 case testified at his commitment trial, and a Coalinga worker told the jury of the patient's predatory nature toward female employees. Two DMH evaluators testified that Samuels poses a high-risk to re-offend if released into the community. Samuels even admitted to raping several women in Illinois in the early 1980s and attempting to rape another Orange County woman in 1987.
By the way, Orange County Deputy District Attorney Noor Hasan of the Sexual Assault Unit also presented testimony from several Coalinga hospital employees who said they have seen supposedly old, frail, injured Samuels regularly working out and playing basketball at the facility's gym.