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Salyer v Commonwealth

10-8-2010 Kentucky:

Salyer v Commonwealth
No. 2009-CA-000439-MR.

The Appellant, Ronald Keith Salyer, appeals the February 19, 2009, opinion and order of the Jefferson Circuit Court, wherein the court determined that Salyer was required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his lifetime pursuant to the version of KRS 17.510 in effect at the time of his release. Following a review of the record, the arguments of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

... ... ...

We now turn to Salyer's second basis for appeal, namely, that if we find he is required to register as a sex offender, he is not subject to lifetime registration under KRS 17.520. As noted, the Commonwealth argued below that Salyer was under a lifetime duty to register because he had been twice convicted for crimes against a minor. Salyer asserts that this was an incorrect argument, and notes that while he was convicted of a felony in the current case, he was only convicted of a misdemeanor in the previous case. Salyer notes that the current version of KRS 17.520(2)(a)(4) prescribes lifetime registration for any person convicted of two or more felony offenses against a victim who is a minor. Salyer asserts that as he does not meet those qualifications, he is only required to register as a sex offender for twenty years. He asks this Court for a declaration in that regard. The Commonwealth does not dispute that Salyer has been convicted once for a misdemeanor sexual offense, and once for a felony.
Having reviewed the provision at issue, we note that it provides as follows:
(2) (a) Lifetime registration is required for:
(4) Any person who has been convicted of two (2) or more felony criminal offenses against a victim who is a minor;
Certainly, the statute is very clear as to who qualifies for lifetime registration. It is equally clear from a review of the record that Salyer was charged with distribution of child pornography in 2003, which was amended down to a misdemeanor conviction for possession, as well as the fifteen counts of possession, a felony of which he was convicted in 2005. Thus it is clear that Salyer does not qualify for lifetime registration pursuant to KRS 17.520(2)(a)(4), and is instead subject to the twenty-year registration requirement set forth in KRS 17.520(3). This Court thus declares that his registration term be amended accordingly.

Wherefore, for the foregoing reasons, we hereby affirm the portion of the February 19, 2009, order of the Jefferson Circuit Court requiring Salyer to register as a sex offender, reverse the portion of the order requiring lifetime registration and instead order that Salyer qualifies for twenty-year registration pursuant to KRS 17.520(3).

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