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In re J.R.

June 27, 2003

IN RE J.R., A MINOR
(THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
J.R., A MINOR, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County Honorable Richard F. Walsh, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice O'mara Frossard

UNPUBLISHED

The instant case presents two issues of first impression: (1) whether as applied to respondent J.R., a juvenile sex offender, the Sex Offender and Child Murderer Community Notification Law (Notification Law) (730 ILCS 152/101 et seq. (West 2000)) violates substantive or procedural due process; and (2) whether as applied to respondent J.R., the Sex Offender Registration Act (Registration Act) (730 ILCS 150/1 et seq. (West 2000)) violates procedural due process.

Respondent J.R., born October 10, 1982, was charged as a delinquent minor under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq. (West 2000)), with criminal sexual abuse. After a pretrial conference, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 402 (177 Ill. 2d R. 402), a stipulated bench trial was conducted. After the stipulation on May 15, 2001, the trial judge entered a finding of delinquency and required respondent to serve two years' probation and 30 days in the Juvenile Detention Center, undergo therapy and a sex offender evaluation, and have no unlawful contact with children under 12 years of age. The trial judge heard arguments regarding whether respondent was required to register pursuant to the Registration Act (730 ILCS 150/1 et seq. (West 2000)), and whether respondent was required to submit a blood sample pursuant to section 5-4-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5- 4-3 (West 2000)). The trial judge ruled that respondent must register as a sex offender and must submit a blood sample. The trial court stayed its order pending appeal.

Respondent now appeals, challenging the trial court's orders requiring him to register as a sex offender and submit blood samples and contending the delinquency finding should be vacated. In his appeal, respondent raises the following arguments: (1) respondent is not required to register as a sex offender because the Registration Act does not apply to juvenile sex offenders; (2) the Registration Act and corresponding Notification Law violate due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution; (3) both statutes violate confidentiality provided by the Juvenile Court Act; (4) barring expungement under section 5-4-3 of the Code violates the separation of powers doctrine provided for in the Illinois Constitution, thereby rendering the blood sample submission provision unenforceable; and (5) the stipulated bench trial was equivalent to a guilty plea, which deprived respondent of procedural due process because the trial court failed to admonish him of the consequences of the stipulated bench trial.

BACKGROUND

In the context of the stipulated bench trial, the parties stipulated that, if called to testify, the victim, P.V., would testify that on July 1, 1999, she was 12 years old. While at respondent's house, on July 1, 1999, respondent put his hand under her underwear and digitally penetrated her vagina. Respondent put his penis in her vagina, but because he could not penetrate, he pulled his penis out and ejaculated. Later that same day P.V. went to St. Alexius Hospital and was examined by a doctor. Her underwear was sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab for analysis.

The parties further stipulated that, if called to testify, Carla Cluck, a forensic scientist for the Illinois State Police crime lab, would state that she received a blood standard from the victim, P.V., and she received the semen stain from the underwear that was inventoried by Officer Ruthenberg. She also received a blood standard from respondent. After conducting DNA analysis, she concluded that the semen identified in the semen stain from the victim's underwear was consistent with having originated from respondent.

Streamwood police sergeant Hart would testify that he interviewed respondent on July 1, 1999, after "Mirandizing" him. Respondent stated that he knew P.V. was 12 years old; things got out of hand and he could not stop when P.V. told him to stop. Respondent stated that he got frustrated because he could not get his penis all the way in and it was getting close to being time for him to go to work. He stopped trying to put his penis all the way in P.V.'s vagina. He ejaculated on the bed cover. Respondent said he heard P.V. saying no, she did not want him to do this, but he could not stop. We note the record reflects the sexual act in the instant case was not consensual.

It was stipulated that P.V. and Sergeant Hart would both identify respondent in open court. Respondent, born October 10, 1982, was 16 years old on July 1, 1999, the date of the incident in the instant case.

The trial court accepted the stipulations and entered a finding of delinquency for criminal sexual abuse.

ANALYSIS

I. Registration Act Applies to Juvenile Sexual Offenders

Respondent first contends that the trial court's order requiring him to register as a sex offender must be reversed because he does not qualify as a "sex offender" under the Registration Act.

Section 3 of the Registration Act requires "sex offenders" to register with their local police department or sheriff within 10 days of the entry of the sentencing order. 730 ILCS 150/3(a), (c)(3) (West 2000). Section 7 of the Registration Act requires respondent "to register for a period of 10 years after conviction or adjudication." 730 ILCS 150/7 (West 2000). Registrants may be fingerprinted and must provide identification and documented proof of residence as well as a written statement and photograph. 730 ILCS 150/3(c)(5), 150/8 (West 2000).

We note that both the Registration Act and the Notification Law have been subject to numerous legislative revisions and modifications since their respective enactments. A comprehensive discussion of these various changes is contained in People v. Logan, 302 Ill. App. 319, 323-25 (1998) and People v. Guillen, 307 Ill. App. 3d 35, 36-37 (1999). The version of the Registration Act applicable in the instant case defines sex offenders to include, among other categories of offenders, "any person who is *** charged *** with a sex offense set forth in subsection (B) of this Section *** and *** is convicted of such offense." 730 ILCS 150/2(A)(1)(a) (West 2000). Subsection (B) lists various offenses, including criminal sexual abuse. 730 ILCS 150/2(B)(1) (West 2000). The Registration Act further defines "juvenile sex offender" to include "any person who is adjudicated a juvenile delinquent as the result of the commission of *** a violation set forth in item (B) ***." 730 ILCS 150/2(A-5) (West 2000). Subsection (A-5) indicates " 'convicted' shall have the same meaning as 'adjudicated' ". 730 ILCS 150/2(A-5) (West 2000). Unless considered a sexual predator, usually a juvenile sex offender would be required to register for a period of 10 years after adjudication. 730 ILCS 150/7 (West 2000).

Relying on In re Nicholas K., 326 Ill. App. 3d 497 (2001), respondent argues that "juvenile sex offenders" are not required to register as sex offenders under the Registration Act. In Nicholas K., the appellate court held that the Registration Act does not apply to juveniles who are adjudicated delinquent for having committed sex crimes, reasoning that "juvenile sex offenders" are a category of offenders separate from "sex offenders." Nicholas K., 326 Ill. App. 3d at 500.

On February 21, 2003, after respondent filed his opening brief in the instant case, the Illinois Supreme Court overruled Nicholas K. in In re J.W., 204 Ill. 2d 50, 65 (2003), and held that juvenile sex offenders are required to register as sex offenders under the Registration Act. The supreme court concluded as follows:

"Although section 3 of the Registration Act does not specifically refer to juvenile sex offenders, section 3 does provide that sex offenders and sexual predators shall register. [Citation.] Without addressing whether J.W. would be required to register in any event because he is a sexual predator, we note that a juvenile sex offender is a sex offender, albeit a specific category of sex offender. Juvenile sex offenders therefore are included within the larger category of sex offenders required to register." (Emphasis in the original.) J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 65.

Respondent, in the instant case, was adjudicated a juvenile delinquent as a result of committing criminal sexual abuse and, therefore, qualified as a "juvenile sex offender" under the applicable statutory definition. See 730 ILCS 150/2(A-5) (West 2000). Juvenile sex offenders are included within the larger category of sex offenders subject to the Registration Act. J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 65. Accordingly, following the supreme court's holding in J.W., we conclude that respondent qualified as a "sex offender" subject to the requirements of the Registration Act.

II. Due Process Under Registration Act and Notification Law

Respondent alternatively contends the trial court's order requiring him to register as a sex offender must be reversed because the Registration Act and the corresponding Notification Law (730 ILCS 152/101 et seq. (West 2000)) violate the Due Process Clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution (U.S. Const. amend. XIV).

"It is well settled that statutes are presumed constitutional and that a party challenging the constitutionality of a statute has the burden of establishing its invalidity." J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 62. We review de novo a statute's constitutionality. J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 62. When interpreting a statute we must identify and give effect to the intent of the legislature in enacting that statute. J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 62, citing Collins v. Board of Trustees of the Firemen's Annuity & Benefit Fund, 155 Ill. 2d 103, 110 (1993). Examination of statutory language is the most reliable indicator of legislative intent. J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 62, citing In re C.W., 199 Ill. 2d 198, 211 (2002). "[A] statute must be read as a whole, and no word or paragraph should be interpreted so as to be rendered meaningless." J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 63, citing Collins, 155 Ill. 2d at 111.

We recognize several Illinois cases have reviewed constitutional challenges to the Registration Act and Notification Law based on various theories, including due process, and have upheld their constitutionality. See People v. Marsh, 329 Ill. App. 3d 639, 643-44 (2002). None of those cases addressed whether those statutes violated due process when applied to juveniles. However, the Illinois Supreme Court in J.W. addressed a substantive due process challenge to the Registration Act as it applied to a juvenile sex offender and we find that case instructive. See J.W., 204 Ill. 2d at 66-72.

Respondent argues that the Registration Act violates due process because it does not condition registration upon a finding that the offender will be a continuing danger to society, but instead requires all offenders who commit certain sex offenses to register. Respondent further argues that the Notification Law violates due process because it "does not mandate a judicial finding that disclosure is required for public safety, *** fails to afford the juvenile an opportunity to be heard on the issue of his danger to the community before disclosing his registry information to ...


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