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Wisconsin can convict nonresidents for violating sex offender registration law

State v. Todd N. Triebold, 2021 WI App 13; case activity (including briefs)

Triebold was convicted of child sexual assault in Wisconsin and subject to lifetime sex offender registration. He moved to Minnesota and notified the Wisconsin DOC of his address. But he moved again and failed to notify either Wisconsin or Minnesota of his change in address. He was separately convicted of violating the sex offender registration laws of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This appeal concerns his challenges to his Wisconsin conviction. The court’s decision is recommended for publication.

Triebold argued that Wisconsin circuit courts lacked territorial jurisdiction over him under §939.03(1). The court of appeals held that he clearly violated §939.03(1)(c), which provides that a person may be prosecuted and punished in Wisconsin if “while out of this state, the person does an act with intent that it cause in this state a consequence set forth in a section defining a crime.”

According to the court of appeals, Triebold’s failure to update the Wisconsin DOC of his change in address had “the consequence of depriving Wisconsin authorities of information concerning the location of his residence, a consequence expressly prohibited by WIS. STAT. § 301.45.” Opinion, ¶13. (citing Mueller v. Raemisch, 740 F.3d 1128, 1132 (7th Cir. 2014)).

Triebold’s contention that SORNA (the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) pre-empts Wisconsin’s law also failed. Courts must presume that state law is not preempted unless preemption was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.  SORNA contained no such express purpose. Furthermore, Wisconsin law creates no obstacle to SORNA’s objectives. Opinion, ¶¶18-21. 

Nor do double jeopardy principles preclude Triebold’s dual convictions in both Minnesota and Wisconsin under either §939.71 or Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932). The two offenses required proof of different facts. The Minnesota law required the State there to prove that Triebold failed to update law enforcement authorities in Minnesota. The Wisconsin law the State here to prove that he failed to update the Wisconsin  DOC. Opinion, ¶¶24-26.


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