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Seales v State

2-28-2014 Indiana:

Seales v State

Kenneth Seales appeals the denial of his motion to remove him from the sex offender registry and his motion to correct error. As the additional registration requirements imposed on him after a 2006 change in the law do not amount to an impermissible ex post facto law, we affirm.

Seales pled guilty in October 1998 to Class B felony child molesting1 for an offense committed in 1996, and the court imposed a twenty-year sentence, with ten years suspended and six years on probation. When Seales committed the offense, the Indiana Sex Offender Registration Act required an offender to register for ten years from the date he was placed on probation. Ind. Code § 5-2-12-5 (1996).

In 2011, Seales brought a Verified Motion to Determine Sex Offender Registration Requirements and Remove Defendant from Registry. In that motion, Seales noted that, at the time of his conviction, the statute required him to register as a sex offender for ten years, but in 2006 the law was changed to require lifetime registration. That change, he asserted, was an impermissible ex post facto law.

He asked the trial court to direct the State to remove him from the sex offender registry and to issue an order that he was not required to register. The trial court determined Seales must continue to register as a sexually violent predator for the rest of his life pursuant to Ind. Code § 11-8-8-19, denied his motion to be removed from the registry, and subsequently denied his motion to correct error.

... ... ...

As Seales, like Jensen, has available to him avenues of relief related to his future dangerousness “in relation to the alternative purpose assigned, protection of the public,” id. at 321, we find the seventh factor weighs in favor of treating the lifetime registration requirement as non-punitive, and we therefore cannot say it was error for the trial court to deny Seales’ petition to be removed from the sex offender registry.


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