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US v Cain

10-13-2009 Ohio:

US v Cain
583 F.3d 408 (2009)

This appeal requires us to determine when the registration requirements of the federal Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) became effective with respect to a defendant who had been convicted of a sexual offense before passage of SORNA.

The Government indicted defendant Cain under 18 U.S.C. § 2250 for traveling from Ohio to Georgia sometime between October 16, 2006, and March 28, 2007, and failing to update his sex offender registration as required by state and federal law.

The circuits are split on whether defendants with pre-SORNA convictions had to comply with SORNA before the Attorney General issued an implementing regulation.

Because SORNA explicitly required the Attorney General to specify the applicability of the Act to persons convicted prior to the effective date of SORNA, and because the Attorney General did not promulgate a regulation making that determination in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act, Cain was not subject to SORNA's requirements during the period indicated in the indictment.

Reversal is therefore required.

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