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Sex Offender Registration Act not ex post facto as applied to Perry County man

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a petition to remove a convicted child molester from the sex offender registry, finding the Sex Offender Registration Act is non-punitive as applied to him.

Daniel Hollen was convicted in Knox County in January 2000 of two counts of Class B felony child molesting for offenses that happened between July 4, 1994, and Sept. 30, 1995. In 2012, he filed pro se a “petition to remove registration act, sexual violent predator status and global positioning satellite” in Perry County, where he lived. He argued his classification as a SVP was contrary to the ex post facto clauses of the Indiana and U.S. constitutions and that he’s being retroactively punished by having to register as a SVP for the rest of his life. He believed the Act wasn’t in effect at the time he committed his offenses.

The case was transferred from Perry Circuit Court to Knox Circuit Court, but it was then sent back to Perry County because that is where Hollen resides. The Perry Circuit Court denied the motion.

The Court of Appeals pointed out that many of Hollen’s arguments are scattered and he failed to put forth a cogent argument on most points. The court addressed his argument that the requirement he registers as a SVP constitutes an ex post facto law because, he claims, the offenses were committed before the effective date of the Act.

Because he was found guilty of two counts that took place after July 1, 1994, the date the Act took effect, the judges didn’t find his argument persuasive that the offenses took place prior to the Act’s effective date. They also looked at the amendments enacted through the years to see if they are constitutional as applied to Hollen.

The COA used the “intent-effects” test to analyze whether the effects of applying the regulatory scheme are punitive as to Hollen by considering seven factors outlined in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144, 168-69, 83 S. Ct. 554, 567-68 (1963). Those include whether the behavior to which the sanction applies is already a crime and whether the sanction appears excessive in relation to the alternative purpose assigned.

Under the circumstances of Hollen’s case, the court found in Daniel J. Hollen v. State of Indiana, 62A04-1211-MI-636, that the factors weigh in favor of treating the Act as non-punitive as applied to Hollen.

 

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