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State v Coman

3-30-2012 Washington:

State v Coman
(273 P.3d 701 (2012)

Another case of statutory construction. Effectively this fellow convicted of bestiality did not have to register as a sex offender because these statutes did not support doing that for bestiality.

Key part of decision:
Joshua Coman pled guilty to misdemeanor criminal sodomy, as defined in K.S.A. 21-3505(a)(1), based upon an incident with a dog. The Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., requires registration for those who commit sexually violent crimes. KORA's definition provision, K.S.A. 22-4902, includes a list of crimes that are per se "sexually violent crimes," i.e., crimes which always require KORA registration.

But the list, under K.S.A. 22-4902(c)(4), only includes felony criminal sodomy as defined in K.S.A. 22-4902(a)(2) and (3), and omits the misdemeanor criminal sodomy for which Coman was convicted. Nevertheless, in addition to specifically named crimes, the list includes a catch-all provision under K.S.A. 22-4902(c)(14), which requires registration for those committing sexually motivated acts. The district court found that Coman was required to register because the act giving rise to his conviction for the unlisted version of criminal sodomy was sexually motivated.

Coman appealed, and a divided Court of Appeals panel affirmed the district court's registration order. State v. Coman, 42 Kan.App.2d 592, 214 P.3d 1198 (2009). We granted review. Construing the applicable statute as a whole, we hold that the legislature did not intend to include the acts constituting the sex crime defined in K.S.A. 21-3505(a)(1) to be included within the catch-all provisions of K.S.A. 22-4902(c)(14). Accordingly, we reverse both the Court of Appeals and the district court.

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