January 16, 2018

Colorado Court of Appeals: Statutory “First Petition Filed with the Court” Language Does Not Encompass Later Additions

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of I.S. on Thursday, December 14, 2017.

Juvenile—Sex Offender Registration—Exemption—C.R.S. § 16-22-103.

I.S., a juvenile, was originally charged in a delinquency petition with three felony counts of sexual assault on a child. Under a plea deal, the prosecution added a fourth misdemeanor count of unlawful sexual contact to its petition, to which I.S. pleaded guilty in return for the three felony counts being dismissed. At sentencing, I.S. argued that because the prosecution had added a misdemeanor offense to the first petition instead of filing a second petition, his misdemeanor offense had been charged in the first petition as required by C.R.S. § 16-22-103(5)(a)(III) and he was thus exempt from registering as a sex offender. Because the first petition filed with the court charged I.S. with the three felony counts of sexual assault on a child and not the misdemeanor, the district court ruled that I.S. must register as a sex offender.

On appeal, I.S. contended that the court erred in denying his request for exemption from sex offender registration. Under C.R.S. § 16-22-103(5)(a), a court may exempt a person from registering as a sex offender when five criteria are met, including the requirement that the first petition filed with the court must charge a misdemeanor offense of either unlawful sexual contact or indecent exposure. The “first petition filed with the court” does not encompass later amendments to that petition. Because the original petition in this case did not charge a misdemeanor offense of either unlawful sexual contact or indecent exposure, I.S. is not eligible for relief under this statute and must register as a sex offender.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

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