Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 13 CR 13852
Honorable Rosemary Grant Higgins, Judge Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE ELLIS delivered the judgment of the court,
with opinion. Justices Howse and Burke concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant Noe Gomez was found guilty of one count of
failing to register as a sex offender under section 3(a)(1)
of the Sex Offender Registration Act (Act) (730 ILCS
150/3(a)(1) (West 2012)). Under section 3(a)(1), a sex
offender has a duty to register with the police in any
municipality where he "resides or is temporarily
domiciled for a period of time of 3 or more days."
2 In this appeal, defendant argues that the State failed to
prove that he resided or was temporarily domiciled in
Chicago, as the State alleged in the indictment. We agree.
The State was required to prove two things-(1) that defendant
permanently resided or was temporarily domiciled in Chicago,
and (2) that defendant failed to register in Chicago. The
State failed to prove the first element. The State presented
no evidence regarding defendant's current address and no
evidence proving that defendant had resided anywhere in
Chicago for at least three days in the relevant calendar
year. At most, the State presented evidence that defendant
previously tried to register at an address in Chicago, that
he was later in police custody in Chicago, and that a Chicago
police officer could not find any record of defendant being
registered in any jurisdiction, Chicago or otherwise.
Whatever might be said about defendant's failure to
register, and regardless of whether he may have violated
other provisions of state law, the State presented no
evidence that he violated section 3(a)(1). We reverse
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 The State charged defendant with one count of failing to
register as a sex offender under section 3(a)(1) of the Act,
alleging that defendant "knowingly failed to register,
in person, as a sex offender with the Chicago police
department within 3 days of establishing a residence or
temporary domicile in the city of Chicago."
5 At defendant's bench trial, Detective Lunsford of the
Chicago police testified that, on June 26, 2013, he met with
defendant at the 18th district police station, where
defendant was in custody on "an unrelated matter."
Lunsford learned defendant's sex offender registration
number and, using the number, searched for a "hard card,
" a card issued to a sex offender once he or she had
completed his registration with the Chicago police. Lunsford
said that he found "no hard card on file" for
defendant. Lunsford testified that a sex offender could
obtain a hard card "at any municipality or jurisdiction
where [he] reside[d]." Lunsford testified that he looked
"to see if there were hard cards in any other
jurisdiction that were on file" for defendant and did
not find any.
6 Lunsford also testified that he received a copy of
defendant's sex offender registration form from the
prison where he had been housed. According to Lunsford,
defendant was supposed to have registered on or before July
16, 2012, three days following his release from prison.
7 Lunsford testified that defendant told him "that he
attempted to register at the Chicago Police Department but he
was not allowed to because the address he was attempting to
register at was not a valid address." Lunsford testified
that defendant told him that he had attempted to register at
"5435 South Spalding" but could not because
"it was too close to a school."
8 On cross-examination, Lunsford testified that he checked
jurisdictions within Illinois and that defendant "was
not registered in any other state" according to
"the Department of Justice online database."
9 The parties stipulated that Victor Olf, a correctional
officer at Robinson Correctional Center, met with defendant
on July 13, 2012, the day defendant was being released from
prison, and gave defendant a copy of a sex offender
registration notification form. Defendant read the form, and
Olf told him that he would "need to establish his
residence within the jurisdiction which he decided to reside
[in] within three days of his release [from prison], that
being July 16, 2012."
10 The State entered two certified copies of defendant's
1993 conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and 2010
conviction for failing to report as a sex offender.
11 The court found defendant guilty, stating that the State
had proved that defendant "knowingly failed to register
in person as a sex offender with the city of Chicago within
three days of establishing a residence or temporary domicile
in the city of Chicago." The court sentenced ...