STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE YELL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NORTHERN DISTRICT [NO.
75NJV-14-31] HO NO RABLE T ERR Y SULL I VAN, JUDGE
& Brasuell, PLLC, by: Toney B. Brasuell, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brooke Jackson Gasaway,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
WAYMOND M. BROWN, JUDGE
appeals from the circuit court's order requiring him to
register as a sex offender. Appellant's sole argument on
appeal is that the circuit court lacked the authority or
jurisdiction to order appellant to register as a sex offender
pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section
9-27-356(b)(2). We affirm.
October 10, 2014, appellant was adjudicated delinquent of
sexual assault in the second degree. As part of that
adjudication, appellant was ordered to complete a Community
Notification Risk Assessment at the University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences. The assessment was completed on March
27, 2017; appellant was assigned a risk level of "Level
III (High) high risk of sexual re-offense" and
recommended to register as a sex offender. The appellee filed
a motion on June 9, 2017, to require appellant to register as
a sex offender. Appellant responded in opposition on June 19,
2017. A hearing on the motion was held on July 21, 2017.
Chambers testified to completing a Registration Risk
Assessment on appellant, in which she recommended that he be
required to register as a sex offender as a "high
risk." Appellant had been adjudicated delinquent of
sexual assault and residential burglary for incidents in
which he sat a minor on his lap and kissed the child on his
lips, and for stealing underwear.
stated that appellant initially denied being involved in any
sexual misconduct with the exception of sitting a minor on
his lap; however, as she "brought [other incidents] up
individually . . . he agreed they were also true." These
admissions included appellant's disclosure that he
sexually abused his younger brother for "several years[,
]" beginning when appellant was fifteen; there had been
masturbation and fondling, but appellant had been
unsuccessful in his attempts to get his brother to perform
oral and anal sex. With regard to how many times he had
sexually abused his brother, appellant said "there were
too many times to remember how many." He had also
masturbated in front of his six- and seven-year-old nieces.
Chambers described appellant's sexual history as
"unusually long[.]" Appellant had been diagnosed
with pedophilic disorder. Chambers noted that it "appears
that [appellant] has targeted children under the age of
10" and that his targets have remained under the age of
ten even as appellant has gotten older.
testified THAT "there were instances of continued sexual
abuse after being caught which is significant" because
after reprimand and consequences, the likelihood of a
particular behavior being a long-term problem is
"considerably less [if the behavior is stopped after a
reprimand] than if they continue to have sexual problems
after being caught." Appellant's offenses continued
despite having received treatment in the court system and
"quite a bit of treatment including in-patient."
She testified that appellant did not appear to show any
remorse or empathy for his victims, though she believed he
understood how sexual abuse can be harmful to victims.
the process of how she receives a child for assessment,
Chambers testified that it is "usually triggered"
by a court order when being done for the Department of Youth
Services, but also AT the behest of the Department of Human
Services (DHS) when a person exhibits sexual behavior that
DHS wants to treat. In either case, to have a risk assessment
there "has to be an adjudication." Chambers stated
that in making her assessment, she looks at more than just
the adjudicated crime; she looks at "his whole history[,
]" many parts of which are not prosecuted in many
circuit court then took the matter under advisement. The
circuit court entered its order on August 18, 2017, stating
in pertinent part:
That pursuant A.C.A. 9-27-356, this Court did order a sex
offender screening and risk assessment in that the
[appellant] had been adjudicated a delinquent for the above
serious sexual offense. That this Court has jurisdiction over
[J.L.W.] and ordered him to submit to a Sex Offender
Registration Risk Assessment. That all Sex Offender Risk
Assessments are done by the UAMS Department of Pediatric
Family Treatment Program and that this Risk Assessment has
been done by Ms. Helen Chambers who is the LCSW with UAMS.
circuit court then made extensive findings regarding the
seriousness of the adjudicated offense, sexual assault in the
second degree; Chambers's opinion that appellant is a
high risk to reoffend; appellant's "history of
sexual acting out" from the age of seven, then being
twenty years of age; and his long history of treatment
programs, including multiple residential programs. It then
found that there was clear and convincing evidence, based on
the asserted findings, that appellant should register as a
sex offender. This timely appeal followed.
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. 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). 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