COA: Illinois sex offender must register in Indiana

October 19, 2016

An Illinois sex offender now living in Indiana must keep his name on the Indiana sex-offender registry after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that there was no ex post facto violation in applying the state’s registration tolling statute to the man after he moved to Indiana.

Charles Summers was adjudicated a juvenile delinquent in Illinois for criminal sex abuse in April 2005 and was required to register as a sex offender in Illinois for 10 years. Under Illinois law, Summers’ registration period was tolled for that time period if he was jailed for an unrelated conviction or adjudication. In July 2008, Indiana enacted a similar law requiring that a sex offender’s registration period be tolled during any period that the offender is in prison.

Summers moved to Indiana “several years” after his 2005 adjudication and was convicted in August 2010 of two counts of robbery, resulting in incarceration. After his release in 2015, he registered as a sex offender in Cass County and was told that the Indiana tolling statute would extend his registration duty from April 2015 to January 2019, equal to the amount of time he was in prison.

In August 2015, the police attempted to verify the address Summers had provided when he registered as a sex offender in Cass County, but found that he had moved from that address, which resulted in his charges of felony failure to register as a sex offender and Class A misdemeanor failure of a sex offender to possess identification.

Summers filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing that applying Indiana’s tolling statute to him violated Indiana’s ex post facto prohibition because the statute was enacted three years after his adjudication in Illinois. The Cass Superior Court dismissed the charges, and Summers subsequently filed a petition to have his name removed from the Indiana sex offender registry. The state then filed a motion to correct error in the criminal case, and the court decided at a joint hearing to dismiss the motion to correct and remove Summers’ name from the registry.

The state then appealed in State of Indiana v. Charles Summers, 09A02-1604-MI-933, arguing that applying the Indiana tolling statute does not violate ex post facto laws and requesting that the case be remanded to proceed with the criminal case against Summers and restore his name to the sex offender registry.

The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the state’s requests, writing that because Summers moved from Illinois to Indiana, he merely maintained his sex offender status. Further, the appellate court noted that Summers was already under a tolling requirement in Illinois and that there was no punitive burden to maintaining both requirements across state lines.

Thus, the Court of Appeals wrote Wednesday that Summers had failed to establish an ex-post facto violation and reversed the order removing his name from the sex offender registry. The criminal case was also remanded.



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