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D.S. v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

September 27, 2017

D.S. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17JV-15-79] HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE

          Lisa-Marie Norris, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Ass't Att'y Gen., and Bryan Foster, Law Student Admitted to Practice Pursuant to Rule XV of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court under the Supervision of Darnisa Evans Johnson, Deputy Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          LARRY D. VAUGHT, JUDGE

         D.S.[1] appeals from the Crawford County Circuit Court's order finding that he violated his probation and requiring him to register as a sex offender pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-356 (Repl. 2015). D.S. argues that the circuit court's decision requiring him to register as a sex offender was clearly erroneous and that the court failed to make specific written findings on each statutory factor as required by statute.[2] We remand.

         On March 13, 2015, the State filed a petition alleging that D.S. had committed rape and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. The rape charge was amended to a second-degree sexual-assault charge. An agreed order was entered on December 3, 2015, finding that D.S. was adjudged a juvenile delinquent on second-degree sexual assault and two counts of fourth- degree sexual assault. D.S. was placed on probation until September 20, 2016 (his eighteenth birthday). D.S. was also ordered to complete a community-notification risk assessment (risk assessment).

         On February 18, 2016, the State filed a second petition seeking revocation of D.S.'s probation based on alleged probation violations. An agreed order was entered on March 17, 2016, wherein the court extended D.S.'s probation to March 31, 2017.

         The State filed a third petition on August 25, 2016, seeking revocation of D.S.'s probation based on new probation violations. Thereafter, on October 12, 2016, the State filed a motion requesting the court to order D.S. to register as a sex offender based on D.S.'s recent completion of a risk assessment that recommended he be required to register.

         A hearing on the State's petition for probation revocation and motion for sex-offender registration was held on October 19, 2016. At the hearing, Skip Hoggard, a licensed psychological examiner at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, testified that he performed the risk assessment on D.S. on September 26, 2016. Hoggard testified about his findings; stated that his findings were detailed in his fifteen-page report, which was introduced into evidence; and recommended that D.S. register as a sex offender. The circuit court ruled from the bench that the State had proved by clear and convincing evidence that D.S. should be ordered to register as a sex offender. The circuit court entered an order on October 19, 2016, and this appeal followed.

         Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-356 provides that if a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for second-degree sexual assault, the court shall order a sex-offender screening and risk assessment. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-356(a)(3). This statute provides that the court may order sex-offender screening and a risk assessment if a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for any offense with an underlying sexually motivated component (i.e., fourth-degree sexual assault). Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-356(b)(1). Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-356(b)(2) further provides that the court may require that a juvenile register as a sex offender upon recommendation of the sex-offender-assessment committee and following a hearing as set forth in subsection (e) of this section. Subsection (e) provides:

(e)(1) The court shall conduct a hearing within ninety (90) days of the registration motion.
(2)(A) The juvenile defendant shall be represented by counsel, and the court shall consider the following factors in making its decision to require the juvenile to register as a delinquent sex offender:
(i) The seriousness of the ...

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