Topic:
FELONIES; SENTENCING; CRIMINALS; PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT; JUVENILES; STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS; SEX CRIMES;
Location:
SEX OFFENDERS;

OLR Research Report


January 11, 2006

 

2006-R-0030

SEXUAL OFFENDER REGISTRATION

By: Sandra Norman-Eady, Chief Attorney

You asked several questions regarding sexual offender registration, which we answer separately below.

Do Criminal Laws Treat First and Repeat Sexual Offenders Differently? What About Sexual Offender Registration Requirements?

The law allows courts to extend incarceration and supervision periods for individuals designated a persistent dangerous sexual offender, persistent serious sexual offender, persistent serious felony offender, or persistent felony offender when they determine that an offender's history, character, and the nature and circumstances of his criminal conduct warrant it. And it deems it a parole violation when a released offender ordered to undergo sex offender treatment refuses to acknowledge committing the acts that led to his conviction (CGS 53a-40).

With a few exceptions, non-violent offenders in Connecticut must register with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and keep the department apprised of their whereabouts for 10 years after they are released from prison; violent or repeat offenders must do this for life (CGS 54-251, -252, and -254).

A “persistent dangerous sexual offender” is a person awaiting sentencing for sexual assault in the 1st or 3rd degree, 1st degree aggravated sexual assault, or 3rd degree sexual assault with a firearm who has previously been incarcerated for at least one year for a serious felony, including sex offenses. The court may subject him to a sentence of imprisonment and a period of special parole which together constitute a life sentence in lieu of the statutory sentence for the crime for which he is awaiting sentencing (CGS 53a-40(i)).

A “persistent serious sexual offender” is a person awaiting sentencing for fondling a child; 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree sexual assault; aggravated sexual assault; 3rd degree sexual assault with a firearm; or sexual assault in a spousal relationship who has previously been convicted of any of those crimes. The court may subject him to a sentence of imprisonment and a period of special parole which together constitute the maximum sentence for the next more serious degree of felony (CGS 53a-40(k)).

A “persistent serious felony offender” is a person awaiting sentencing for a serious felony offense who has previously been incarcerated for at least one year for a serious felony offense. The court may subject him to a sentence of imprisonment for the next more serious degree of felony in lieu of the statutory sentence for the crime for which he is awaiting sentencing (CGS 53a-40(j)).

A “persistent felony offender” is a person awaiting sentencing for a felony, other than a class D felony, who has previously been convicted of such a crime. The court may subject him to a sentence of imprisonment for the next more serious degree of felony. The sentence must include a three year mandatory minimum period of incarceration (CGS 53a-40 (m)).

Are Child and Teenage Offenders Required to Register?

Unless otherwise exempt, anyone convicted of or found guilty by reason of mental defect or disease of a crime that triggers registration must register regardless of his age. Generally, children under the age of 16 are tried as juveniles and may by adjudged delinquent, rather than “convicted”, if they are found to have committed a crime. Thus, they are not required to register. However, children ages 14 or 15 who are charged with certain felony offenses may, and in some cases must, be tried as adults and if found guilty “convicted” of the crime. If these 14 or 15 year olds are convicted of a crime that triggers registration, they must register.

The juvenile court must transfer to the Superior Court's adult docket the case of any child who is arrested for a class A or B felony or arson murder he allegedly committed after he turned age 14. If the charge is a class A felony, the child is tried as an adult; if the charge is a Class B felony (or 1st degree sexual assault resulting from sexual intercourse with someone under age 13 and more than two years younger than the actor) he is tried as an adult unless, within 10 business days after the arraignment, a state's attorney files a motion to transfer the case back to juvenile court.

If the child is charged with a class C or D felony, the juvenile prosecutor can make a motion to transfer the case to the adult docket, and the court can do so if it finds probable cause to believe the child committed the crime. If it chooses, the adult court can return the case to juvenile court (CGS 46b-127). Most of the crimes that trigger registration are A or B felonies. See the list of crime below.

What are the Criteria for Placing an Offender's Name on the Registry List? Who Determines What Names Go On the List?

Anyone convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of a criminal offense against a minor, nonviolent sexual offense, sexually violent offense, or felony for a sexual purpose must register with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) within three days of his release into the community. He must go to a location designated by the DPS commissioner and register, on forms the commissioner has developed, his name, identifying factors, criminal history record, and residential address. Offenders convicted of a sexually violent offense must also document any treatment they received for mental abnormalities or personality disorders.

If the registrant moves, he must register his new address with the commissioner, in writing, within five days. If he moves out-of-state, he must also register with the appropriate law enforcement agency if that state has a registration law.

A court may exempt an offender from the registration requirement if registration is not required for public safety and the offender (1) is under age 19 and convicted of having sexual intercourse with a victim age 13-15 (2nd Degree Sexual Assault) or (2) has sexual contact with another person without consent (4th Degree Sexual Assault). Tables 1-3 show the crimes that trigger registration and their classifications.

Table 1: Sex Crimes Against Minors

Offense

Classification

Risk of Injury/Impairing Morals:

Intimate contact with intimate parts; victim under age 16

CGS 53-21(2) and 53-21(a)(2)53-2(a)(2)

B Felony

1st Degree Sexual Assault (Rape):

Victim is (1) under age 13 and actor more than 2 years older or (2) 13-15 and actor uses or threatens force

CGS 53a-70(a)(2)

A Felony

2nd Degree Sexual Assault:

Victim is (1) 13-15 years of age and actor is more than 2 years older; (2) under age 16 and actor is guardian or equivalent; or (3) enrolled in school where actor works

CGS 53a-71(a)(1), (4), and (8)

B Felony

Incest:

Victim under age 16

CGS 53a-72a(2)

C Felony

1st Degree Promoting Prostitution:

Victim under age 16 and actor knowingly advances or profits from crime

CGS 53a-86(a)(2)

B Felony

2nd Degree Promoting Prostitution:

Victim age 16 or 17 and actor knowingly advances or profits

CGS 53a-87(a)(2)

C Felony

Enticing a Minor:

Actor uses interactive computer service to knowingly persuade or entice victim under age 16 to engage in prostitution or other sexual activity which would subject the actor to criminal prosecution

CGS 53a-90a

D Felony for 1st offense, C Felony for 2nd offense, and B Felony for 3rd and subsequent offenses

1st Degree Kidnapping:

Victim under 18 abducted and actor intends to compel a third person to pay ransom or engage or refrain from engaging in particular conduct or

Victim under age 18 is restrained and actor intends to (1) cause physical injury or violate or abuse him sexually, (2) accomplish or advance the commission of a felony, (3) terrorize him or a third person, or (4) interfere with the performance of a government function

CGS 53a-92

A Felony

1st Degree Kidnapping with a Firearm:

Actor commits 1st degree kidnapping against a victim under age 18 and uses or indicates that he is armed and intends to use a gun

CGS 53a-92a

A Felony

2nd Degree Kidnapping:

Actor abducts victim under age 18

CGS 53a-94

B Felony

Table 1: Continued

Offense

Classification

2nd Degree Kidnapping with a Firearm

Actor abducts victim under age 18 and uses or indicates that he is armed and intends to use the gun

CGS 53a-94a

B Felony

1st Degree Unlawful Restraint:

Actor restrains victim under age 18 under circumstances that expose victim to a substantial risk of physical injury

CGS 53a-95

D Felony

2nd Degree Unlawful Restraint:

Actor restrains victim under age 18

CGS 53a-96

A Misdemeanor

Public Indecency:

Victim under age 18 and actor, in a public place, engages in sexual intercourse, a lewd exposure of his body with the intent to arouse or satisfy his sexual desire, or a lewd fondling or caressing of the body of another person

CGS 53a-186

B Misdemeanor

Employing Minor in Obscene Performance:

Actor employs victim under age 16 in a performance obscene as to minors

CGS 53a-196a

A Felony

Promoting Minor in Obscene Performance:

Actor promotes victim under age 16 in a performance obscene as to minors

CGS 53a-196b

B Felony

Importing Child Pornography:

Intending to promote child pornography, actor imports or cause to be imported at least three depictions of child pornography

CGS 53a-196c

B Felony

1st Degree Possession of Child Pornography:

Actor has 50 or more depictions of child pornography

CGS 53a-196d

B Felony

2nd Degree Possession of Child Pornography:

Actor has 21-49 depictions of child pornography

CGS 53a-196e

C Felony

3rd Degree Possession of Child Pornography:

Actor has less than 20 depictions of child pornography

CGS 53a-196f

D Felony

Table 2: Nonviolent Sexual Offense

Offense

Classification

4th Degree Sexual Assault:

1. Victim is vulnerable or actor is adult in position of trust

2. Victim is animal or dead person or

3. Actor has sexual contract without victim's consent

CGS 53a-73a

A Misdemeanor; D Felony if the victim is under age 16

Table 3: Sexually Violent Offenses

Offense

Classification

1st Degree Sexual Assault (Rape):

Actor (1) uses or threatens force against the victim or a third person causing the victim to fear physical injury to him or the third person, (2) commits 2nd degree sexual assault aided by at least two other people present at scene, or (3) engages in conduct with someone mentally incapacitated.

CGS 53a-70 (a) (1), (3), and (4)

A felony if force involved, otherwise B felony

1st Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault:

1st Degree Sexual Assault by an actor who (1) is armed, (2) injures the victim while intending to disfigure him, (3) seriously injures the victim while recklessly engaging in conduct that creates a risk of the victim's

CGS 53a-70a

B felony; A felony if the victim is under age 16

Sexual Assault in a Spousal Relationship:

Use of force to compel a spouse to engage in sexual intercourse

CGS 53a-70b

B felony

2nd Degree Sexual Assault:

Victim is: (1) mentally defective, (2) physically helpless, (3) in custody or detained in a hospital under actor's supervision, or (4) patient or emotionally dependent former patient of actor psychotherapist

Or

Actor: (1) falsely claims medical purpose, (2) is a coach and victim is his pupil, (3) is at least 20 and stands in position of authority over victim under age 18

CGS 53a-71(a)(2), (3), (5)-(7), (9), and (10)

C felony; B felony if victim is under age 16

3rd Degree Sexual Assault:

Use of force or threatened force to compel sexual contact

CGS 53a-72a

D felony; C felony if the victim is under age 16

Table 3: Continued

Offense

Classification

3rd Degree Sexual Assault with a Firearm:

3rd Degree Sexual Assault by an armed actor

CGS 53a-72b

C felony; B felony if victim is under age 16

1st Degree Kidnapping:

Victim abducted and actor intends to compel a third person to pay ransom or engage or refrain from engaging in particular conduct or

Victim is restrained and actor intends to (1) cause physical injury or violate or abuse him sexually, (2) accomplish or advance the commission of a felony, (3) terrorize him or a third person, or (4) interfere with the performance of a government function

CGS 53a-92

A Felony

1st Degree Kidnapping with a Firearm:

Actor commits 1st degree kidnapping and uses or indicates that he is armed and intends to use a gun

CGS 53a-92a

A Felony

What is the Process for Getting a Person's Name Removed from the List Because of a Registration Error, a Court Exemption, or Expiration of Time?

Anyone who believes that registry information is incorrect can contact the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police Sex Offender Registry Unit at 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, CT 06457, calling (860) 685-8060, or e-mailing them at sex.offender.registry@po.state.ct.us.

As stated above, a court may exempt an offender from the registration requirement if registration is not required for public safety and the offender (1) is under age 19 and convicted of having sexual intercourse with a victim age 13-15 (2nd Degree Sexual Assault) or (2) has sexual contact with another person without consent (4th Degree Sexual Assault). The offender must apply for the exemption by filing form JD-CR-122 with the court and the prosecuting attorney and filing notice of the application (JD-VS-3) with the Office of Victim Services. We have attached a copy of the forms.

Can An Offender's Name be Removed From the List if He Can Prove That He is Not a Predator or a Repeat Offender?

Generally no, however as described above, a court must consider an offender's threat to public safety when considering whether to exempt him from the registration requirement.

Can a Sex Offender Petition the Board of Pardons and Paroles for a Pardon if He Completes His Sentence and Refrains From Repeat Offenses?

Yes. The Board of Pardons and Paroles has the power to grant pardons for any crime, either before the sentence is served or after (CGS 54-130a and -130d).

The person seeking the pardon must submit a petition to the board. There are no statutory criteria for granting or denying a pardon—the board is authorized to grant pardons, absolute or conditional, for any offense at any time after a person is sentenced. Each case is looked at individually.

How do Connecticut's Child Sexual Offender Registration Laws Differ From Those in Other States?

Please see OLR Report 2005-R-0673. It compares Connecticut's sexual offender registration laws to Florida's laws, which most analysts agree are the most comprehensive in the nation.

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