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No error in denying juvenile stay of sex offender registration

State v. F.B., 2016AP497, 11/1/16, District 1 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

F.B. seeks reversal of the circuit court’s denial of a permanent stay of his obligation to register. No briefs are available and it is difficult to tell what his argument might have been; in any case the court of appeals holds the circuit court properly exercised its discretion.

The decision to stay a juvenile’s sex offender registration is governed by State v. Cesar G., 2004 WI 61, ¶50, 272 Wis. 2d 22, 682 N.W.2d 1, which sets out factors for the court’s consideration:

1. The ages, at the time of the violation, of the juvenile and the victim of the violation;

2. The relationship between the juvenile and the victim of the violation;

3. Whether the violation resulted in bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (4), to the victim;

4. Whether the victim suffered from a mental illness or mental deficiency that rendered him or her temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding or evaluating the consequences of his or her actions;

5. The probability that the juvenile will commit other violations in the future; and

6. Any other factor that the court determines may be relevant to the particular case.

(¶9). F.B. offered an expert’s report suggesting a low likelihood of reoffense, but the court gave it little weight because of the report’s own caveats about its applicability to F.B. now that he is an adult. (¶¶4, 10). In the court of appeals’ view the other factors considered by the circuit court were sufficient to sustain its decision:

In denying F.B.’s motion, the circuit court considered the age of the victim, who was eight years old at the time of the offense. The court noted that while there was neither bodily harm incurred by the victim, nor mental illness, the victim “was very vulnerable because of his age.” The court gave little credibility to Dr. Gust-Brey’s conclusion that F.B. was unlikely to reoffend, noting that “caution is stamped all over that report because the risk assessments are really not made to be used with adults.” The court also considered many other factors, such as F.B.’s flight from Lad Lake twice, and the facts that F.B. “pick[ed] up new charges,” “left the state to presumably avoid … probation,” and “use[d] an alias out in the community.” The court concluded that “[a]ll of these things … just make me very concerned about you being in the community. [The] registry simply is keeping track of where you are.” Accordingly, the circuit court considered the appropriate factors, applied the proper standard of law, and reached a conclusion that a reasonable judge could reach.


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