New York Man Committed Under Federal Sexual Predator Law
BOSTON - After a seven day bench trial in federal court, on March 8, 2012, John Charles Volungus was civilly committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a sexually dangerous person under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
Volungus, 45, of Rexford, New York, is the fifth inmate to be committed under the Adam Walsh Act in Massachusetts.
In 2006, the Adam Walsh Act was enacted in an effort to combat sexual violence and to protect children. The legislation created, for the first time, a federal civil commitment program for sexually dangerous persons. Once a sexually dangerous person is committed, the Act provides for an annual determination by the Court as to whether the person has progressed in treatment to the point that he could be safely released upon a prescribed regimen of care.
Evidence presented during the trial, before Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr., revealed over a decade of behaviors by Volungus demonstrating a sexual attraction to children and that Volungus lacked the ability to control his behavior, even while incarcerated. He was first incarcerated in 1998 for possession of child pornography and for use of the Internet to entice an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts. While incarcerated for those offenses, Volungus continued to act on his sexual interest in children by creating and keeping hand-drawn images of child pornography in prison.
Upon release from federal prison in 2003, and while attending court ordered sex offender treatment, Volungus continued to download and collect child pornography. He also corresponded with a convicted sex offender, stating that he intended to travel outside the United States for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with children.
Based on this evidence, Judge O’Toole found that Volungus lacked the ability to control his behavior and is a sexually dangerous person. Volungus’s case will be reviewed annually to determine whether he has progressed to the point that he could be safely released.
The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Grady, Jennifer Serafyn, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.