May 25, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Sex Offender Registration Not Punishment so No Eighth Amendment Violation for Juvenile Offender Registration Requirement

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of J.O. on Thursday, August 27, 2015.

Juvenile—Unlawful Sexual Contact—Indecent Exposure—Sex Offender Registration—Evidence—Eighth Amendment.

J.O., who was 15 years old at the time of the charged offenses, was adjudicated delinquent for acts that, if committed by an adult, would constitute misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact, attempted misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact, and two counts of indecent exposure. As part of adjudication, J.O. was required to register as a sex offender.

On appeal, J.O. argued that the trial court erred in ordering him to register as a sex offender because (1) he met the criterion for the magistrate to exempt him from registration, (2) the registration violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment, and (3) (1) the evidence was not sufficient to support the adjudication. Because J.O. was simultaneously adjudicated for unlawful sexual contact and indecent exposure, he did not meet the first offense criterion in CRS § 16-22-103(5)(a)(III) for exemption from sex offender registration. Additionally, because sex offender registration is not punishment, requiring him to register did not violate his constitutional rights. Finally, there was sufficient evidence showing that J.O. possessed the requisite intent for unlawful sexual contact and indecent exposure.Therefore, the evidence was sufficient to support his adjudication. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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