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In re T.H.

Supreme Court of Iowa

June 15, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF T.H., Minor Child. T.H., Minor Child, Appellant.

          On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Brian L. Michaelson, Senior Judge.

         A juvenile statutorily required to register as a sex offender challenges the provision as cruel and unusual punishment under the Iowa and United States Constitutions.

          Zachary S. Hindman of Mayne, Arneson, Hindman, Hisey & Daane, Sioux City, and Kathryn C. Stevens, Public Defender, Sioux City (until withdrawal) for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, and Diane Murphy, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

          CADY, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         In this appeal, we must decide if substantial evidence was presented to establish that a juvenile committed a sex offense by force and whether the mandatory sex offender registry statute for certain juvenile sex offenders violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under either the Iowa or United States Constitution. The juvenile court found the juvenile committed a sex offense by force and ordered him to register as a sex offender. We transferred the appeal to the court of appeals. It found substantial evidence that the juvenile committed a sex offense by force and that the sex offender registry requirements imposed by law did not violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under either the Iowa or United States Constitution. On our further review from the court of appeals decision, we affirm the decision of the juvenile court and the decision of the court of appeals.

         I. Factual Background and Proceedings.

         On or about July 15, 2015, T.H., a fourteen-year-old boy, knocked on the door of I.N., a sixteen-year-old girl whom T.H. had known for a few years. I.N. answered the door, and T.H. told her he had a gift for her. He told I.N. he had ordered a ring and wanted to give it to her. I.N. asked her mother if she could talk with T.H. on the front porch, and her mother gave her permission. Once the two were outside, they talked for a few minutes, and T.H. began to kiss I.N., over her objections. T.H. then sat on the porch and asked I.N. to join him. She initially refused, but T.H. continued to insist.

         I.N. sat down on the porch next to T.H., who then exposed his penis and shoved the back of I.N.'s head downward toward it. I.N. protested repeatedly, and as she said "no, " T.H.'s penis entered her mouth. T.H. kept his hand on I.N.'s head so she could not raise her head. I.N. then bit T.H.'s penis in order to free herself, prompting T.H. to release her head. T.H. asked her why she had bit him, and I.N. responded that she did not want to do this and had said no. I.N. slapped T.H. in the face, and T.H. went home.

         I.N. ran inside and told her mother what had happened. I.N.'s mother called the police. I.N. was interviewed by the police and a few days later interviewed by the Child Advocacy Center. The police also interviewed T.H. Although T.H. initially denied the incident, after an officer falsely represented to him that there was surveillance footage of the encounter, T.H. admitted to forcing I.N. to perform oral sex and that she bit him in the process. After the police interview, without an officer in the room, T.H. wrote an apology letter to I.N. He wrote,

Dear [I.N.],
I sorry for forcing you to suck my penis. I'm so sorry. If you forgive me, I'll be happy. So just remember I still care about you.
Love, [T.H.]

         Since the incident, I.N. has experienced recurring nightmares about the incident and is wary around boys who resemble T.H. She also has had difficulty participating in school when the topic of sexual abuse is discussed.

         On July 21, 2015, the State filed a delinquency petition alleging the delinquency of T.H. based on a number of incidents. The State alleged T.H. committed sexual abuse in the third degree by performing a sex act by force or against the will of I.N. in violation of Iowa Code section 709.4(1)(a) (2016). Based on domestic incidents that occurred in late June 2015, the State also alleged two counts of simple assault for punching and choking his mother, one count of simple assault for punching his brother, and one count of criminal mischief in the fifth degree for throwing a mop through a window of his residence.

         The juvenile court held an adjudicatory hearing during which I.N. testified about the incident, as well as the detective who conducted the investigation. Following the witnesses' testimonies, the juvenile court dismissed the four counts relating to the domestic incidents. On December 11, the juvenile court adjudicated T.H. delinquent for performing a sex act by force and against the will of I.N. in violation of Iowa Code section 709.4(1)(a). The court, therefore, found that T.H. had committed sexual abuse in the third degree and that his offense was committed with force.

         The court soon thereafter issued its dispositional order, which discussed T.H.'s mental health history, past behavioral problems, and prior rehabilitation efforts by the State. T.H.'s father has never played a role in his life, and his mother has been married three times. Her second husband was an alcoholic, and her third husband abused her, sometimes in T.H.'s presence. After the third husband left the home, T.H. kept in contact with him, as he provided drugs to T.H. and his friends. Currently, the man who is living in T.H.'s home is a multistate offender with prior arrests for narcotics possession, domestic violence, and child endangerment. T.H.'s mother has a history of substance abuse, although she has been sober for over seven years. She currently works the overnight shift at Wal-Mart. From 2004 to 2008, T.H. lived with his maternal grandmother and stepgrandfather in Texas, and they have since continued to request custody of T.H.

         Prior to the incident with I.N., T.H. had received a number of services to address his mental health and behavioral needs. In August 2011, T.H. was removed from his home by the police and taken to St. Luke's Hospital for aggressive behavior. In September 2011, he was placed in the Four Oaks PMIC Program and resided in the facility for seven months. In December 2012, T.H. was committed to the Cherokee Mental Health Institute (MHI) after threatening to stab kids at school with a paper knife, drawing pictures of shooting people and blowing up houses, and stating that voices in his head were telling him to do bad things. He remained at Cherokee MHI until February 2013, when he received a placement at the Boys and Girls Home in Sioux City. Through each of the out-of-home placements, T.H. was given services relating to anger management, coping mechanisms, age-appropriate social skills, communication skills, and self-esteem. T.H. was returned to his parental home in August 2013 with a good prognosis.

         Beginning in January 2014, the Sioux City police were frequently called to assist with family disturbances in his home. T.H.'s mother struggled to contain T.H.'s behavior and sought assistance from juvenile officers and a therapist. In September 2014, after T.H. broke a window in the family home, he was placed on an Informal Adjustment and assigned twenty hours of community service. T.H.'s mother also pursued outpatient mental health services and medication for T.H. School liaison services were also added to support him at school. In June of 2015, police were twice called to address incidents within his home after T.H. punched his brother and mother and placed his mother in a choke hold during an argument. Juvenile officers discussed the possibility of a second Informal Adjustment, but opted to give T.H. one month to demonstrate his ability to live in the home without aggression. Less than a month later, T.H. was brought to detention for sexually abusing I.N.

         After being placed in detention, T.H. completed two psychological evaluations. T.H. was diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type; an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, combined presentation; an oppositional defiant disorder, moderate; and an unspecified anxiety disorder. T.H. expressed a desire not to be returned to his parental home, stating he was afraid he would hurt his mother, brother, or do something sexual again.

         Considering the above circumstances and T.H.'s history of prior services, the court concluded that it was in T.H.'s best interests to be placed in a residential treatment facility. The court ordered T.H. to be placed in the S.T.O.P. program at the Four Oaks facility where he would receive a number of services. The court also found that T.H.'s offense is a tier III sexual offense, and therefore, T.H. was required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Iowa Code section 692A.102(1)(c)(10). The court explained it had no discretion to defer or waive the sex offender registration requirements, as T.H. was fourteen years old and committed his offense with force. Accordingly, the court ordered T.H. to register as a sex offender pursuant to Iowa Code section 692A.103(4).

         T.H. appealed and raised two issues. First, he asserted there was insufficient evidence to find he committed sexual abuse by force. Second, he argued the mandatory sex offender registration constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of both the Iowa and United States Constitutions. We transferred the case to the court of appeals. It concluded there was substantial evidence to support a finding that T.H. sexually abused I.N. by force. It also found that mandatory sex offender registration for juveniles was not cruel and unusual punishment.

         We granted T.H.'s application for further review.

         II. Standard of Review.

         Juvenile delinquency proceedings are "special proceedings that provide an alternative to the criminal prosecution of children where the best interest of the child is the objective." In re M.L., 868 N.W.2d 456, 460 (Iowa Ct. App. 2015). We consider the sufficiency of the evidence in juvenile delinquency adjudications de novo. In re D.S., 856 N.W.2d 348, 351 (Iowa 2014). We review constitutional challenges de novo. State v. Roby, 897 N.W.2d 127, 137 (Iowa 2017).

         III. Analysis.

         A. Sufficiency of Evidence.

         A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under various circumstances, including when "[t]he act is done by force or against the will of the other person." Iowa Code § 709.4(1)(a). T.H. alleges the State introduced insufficient evidence that he committed a sex act "by force or against the will" of I.N.

         The essence of the claim asserted by T.H. is built upon two propositions. First, he used the nature of their relationship to support the absence of any evidence of force. T.H. asserted he had been pursuing a relationship with I.N., they maintained a friendly relationship, they had spent time together alone in the past, I.N. never felt threatened or fearful during any past encounter, and he was invited by I.N. into her home to be alone with her at the time in question. Second, he claimed the testimony of I.N. about the event was both implausible and inconsistent, claiming the sex act that occurred was voluntary.

         Upon our review of the transcript, we find substantial evidence to support the crime, including the element of force. I.N. testified T.H. forced her head into his erect penis, and she responded by repeatedly telling him "no." T.H. acknowledged to police that he forced I.N.'s head down into his penis and that he asked her why she did not want to perform oral sex. Upon our de novo review, we also consider the findings of the juvenile judge who heard the testimony and evaluated the credibility of the witnesses. In re A.K., 825 N.W.2d 46, 49 (Iowa 2013).

         B. Mandatory Juvenile Sex Offender Registration.

         T.H. next argues that the mandatory sex offender registration requirement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because the governing statute does not permit the juvenile court to waive the registration requirement for juveniles like himself who were found delinquent of a sex act under aggravated circumstances. He argues the constitutional protections entitle all juveniles to an individualized assessment by the juvenile court to determine if registration should be waived or imposed. T.H. builds his argument on those cases requiring an individualized hearing before sentencing juvenile offenders to imprisonment without parole. See generally State v. Lyle, 854 N.W.2d 378 (Iowa 2014); State v. Ragland, 836 N.W.2d 107 (Iowa 2013); State v. Pearson, 836 N.W.2d 88 (Iowa 2013); State v. Null, 836 N.W.2d 41 (Iowa 2013).

         To address this argument, we must first determine the operation of the sex offender registry statute with respect to juvenile offenders. This task requires us to consider two statutory schemes: the sex offender registry statute and the statute governing the adjudication and disposition of juvenile offenders. Second, we will review the requirements of the sex offender registry statute as applied to T.H.

         1. Mandatory registration for certain juveniles.

The Iowa Sex Offender Registry statute broadly governs the registration of sex offenders in Iowa. Under the statute, any person "convicted" of an offense designated as a tier I, II, or III crime is required to register with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. Iowa Code § 692A.103(1). Generally, this registration requirement applies to juvenile offenders. Juveniles adjudicated delinquent of a qualifying offense are considered "convicted" for registration purposes. Id. § 692A.101(7).

         Notwithstanding, the registration statute permits the juvenile court to "waive[] the registration" for juvenile offenders if it "finds that the person should not be required to register." Id. § 692A.103(3). Additionally, if a juvenile court does not initially waive the registration requirement, it may subsequently "modify or suspend the registration requirements" upon a showing of good cause prior to the discharge of a juvenile from the jurisdiction of the court. Id. § 692A.103(5).

         Yet, the statute does not permit the juvenile court to waive the registration requirements, or modify or suspend the requirements, for juveniles fourteen years of age or older at the time of their sex offense and who committed their offense "by force or the threat of serious violence, by rendering the victim unconscious, or by involuntary drugging of the victim." Id. § 692A.103(4). If a juvenile commits a sex offense under these circumstances, the juvenile must register as a sex offender and may not petition the juvenile court to modify or suspend the registration requirements prior to the discharge from the jurisdiction of the court. Id. § 692A.103(5)(e). Accordingly, under the sex offender registration statute, juveniles who are found delinquent of an aggravated sex offense must register as sex offenders, and the requirement cannot be waived under the statute by the juvenile court.

         The provisions of the sex offender registration statute, however, must be read in conjunction with the juvenile justice provisions of chapter 232. In particular, the statute governing dispositional orders for juvenile offenders directs the juvenile court to "determine whether [a] child shall remain on the sex offender registry prior to termination of the dispositional order." Id. § 232.54(1)(i). Importantly, unlike the provisions governing the waiver of the registration requirement for juveniles, the authority of the juvenile court to determine if a juvenile should remain on the registry after the dispositional order terminates does not exclude juveniles who commit sex crimes under aggravated circumstances. Thus, an aggravated sex offender must initially register under the statute. However, any time a court acts to terminate a child's dispositional order that "require[d] [the] child to register as a sex offender pursuant to chapter 692A, the juvenile court shall determine whether the child shall remain on the sex offender registry prior to the termination of the dispositional order."[1] Id.

         This approach is not only consistent with the language of chapter 692A and chapter 232, but it is also in line with the objective of the juvenile law. Retaining the juvenile court's jurisdiction is consistent with the research that shows juvenile sex offenders can achieve rehabilitation far easier than adult sex offenders. See Robert E. Shepherd Jr., Advocating for the Juvenile Sex Offender, Part 1, 21 Crim. Just. 53, 54 (2006) ("Adolescent sex offenders are far less predatory, are less likely to engage in serious or aggressive behaviors, are far more amenable to successful treatment, are more readily treated and supervised within the community, and have significantly lower recidivism rates."); see also Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 569-71, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 1195-96 (2005) (recognizing the "diminished culpability of juveniles" and their greater capacity for rehabilitation); Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 400 (noting a juvenile's "greater capacity for growth and reform"). Thus, the juvenile court is able to relieve a juvenile sex offender from the registration requirements when rehabilitation under a dispositional order is achieved prior to expiration.

         2. Sex offender registry requirements. Generally, when a juvenile is required to register as a sex offender, the registration begins on the date the juvenile delinquent is released from placement in a juvenile facility; the date the juvenile delinquent begins attending a public or private education institution as a student; or the date of conviction if probation, incarceration, or placement in a juvenile facility was not ordered as a disposition. See Iowa Code § 692A.103(1). Once registration occurs, numerous restrictions and requirements are imposed. Thus, we turn to consider the impact of the registration requirements on T.H.

         T.H. was fourteen years old at the time of his offense. In its delinquency adjudication, the juvenile court specifically found that T.H. committed the offense with force, as he used his hand to shove I.N.'s head toward his penis. Therefore, the juvenile court indeed lacked discretion to waive or defer his requirement to register as a sex offender, and it may not subsequently act to modify or terminate his registration requirement during the period of his dispositional order. For at least the duration of his dispositional order, T.H. must abide by the following terms of the sex offender registry.

         T.H. must appear in person to register with the sheriff of each county where he resides, works, or attends school. Id. § 692A.104(1). If T.H. changes his residence, employment, or school he must notify the county sheriff within five business days. Id. § 692A.104(2). If T.H. moves to, works in, or attends school in a new jurisdiction, he must notify the sheriff in the county of his principal residence of his presence in the new jurisdiction. Id. § 692A.104(5). If T.H. plans to leave the county for more than five days, he must notify the sheriff of his intentions and provide the location and period of time that he will be staying out of the county. Id. § 692A.105. Every three months, T.H. must appear in person to verify the location of his residence, employment, and school. Id. § 692A.108(1)(c). He will also pay an annual registration fee of twenty-five dollars. Id. § 692A.110(1).

         Because T.H. committed an offense against a minor, he is subject to a number of exclusion zones and employment restrictions. He may not be present upon, nor loiter within 300 feet of, the property of an elementary or secondary school, except for the school he attends. Id. § 692A.113(1)(a)-(b). He similarly may not be present upon, nor loiter within 300 feet of, the property of a public library, absent prior written permission by the library administrator. Id. § 692A.113(1)(f)-(g). T.H. also may not be present upon, nor loiter within 300 feet of, the property of a child care facility, absent prior written permission by the facility. Id. § 692A.113(1)(d)-(e). T.H. may not loiter on the premises of any facility for dependent adults, nor may he be present at an event that provides services or programming for dependent adults. Id. § 692A.115(1). Finally, T.H. may not be present upon nor loiter within 300 feet of

any place intended primarily for the use of minors including but not limited to a playground available to the public, a children's play area available to the public, a recreational or sport-related activity area when in use by a minor, a swimming or wading pool available to the public when in use by a minor, or a beach available to the public when in use by a minor.

Id. § 692A.113(1)(h).

         Throughout the duration of his registration, T.H. may not work or volunteer for a "municipal, county, or state fair or carnival when a minor is present on the premises." Id. § 692A.113(3)(a). He also may not work or volunteer at a "children's arcade, an amusement center having coin or token operated devices for entertainment, or facilities providing programs or services intended primarily for minors, when a minor is present." Id. § 692A.113(3)(b). T.H. similarly may not work or volunteer at a "public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, child care facility, or public library." Id. § 692A.113(3)(c). He is also prevented from working or volunteering at "any place intended primarily for use by minors including but not limited to a playground, a children's play area, recreational or sport-related activity area, a swimming or wading pool, or a beach." Id. § 692A.113(3)(d). He may not work or volunteer for any business that "operates a motor vehicle primarily marketing, from or near the motor vehicle, the sale and dispensing of ice cream or other food products to minors." Id. § 692A.113(3)(e). As well, T.H. may not be employed by a "facility providing services for dependent adults or at events where dependent adults participate in programming." Id. § 692A.115(1).

         Because T.H. is a minor, he is not subject to any residency restrictions. Id. § 692A.114(3)(e). However, if T.H. is still required to register after becoming an adult, he will not be permitted to reside within 2000 feet of a school or child care facility. Id. § 692A.114(2). As well, should the juvenile court see fit, T.H. may be supervised by an electronic tracking and monitoring system. Id. § 692A.124(3).

         T.H.'s registration information will be publicized on the sex offender registry website, which is searchable by "name, county, city, zip code, and geographic radius." Id. § 692A.121(1). The website will also publish T.H.'s full name, photographs, date of birth, home address, and physical description, including scars, marks, or tattoos. Id. § 692A.121(2)(b)(1)(a)-(e). The website provides the statutory citation and text of his offense, as well as informs the public whether T.H. is subject to residence restrictions, employment restrictions, and exclusion zones. Id. § 692A.121(2)(b)(1)(f)-(h).

         Members of the general public may also contact the county sheriff's office and request additional information about T.H. A member of the public that contacts the sheriff and provides T.H.'s date of birth, which is publicized on the sex offender registry website, may request a list of schools T.H. has attended, the names and addresses of his current and former employers, locations and dates of any temporary lodging, and his vehicle information. Id. § 692A.121 (5)(a)-(b).

         If T.H. violates any of the above requirements, he commits an aggravated misdemeanor. Id. § 692A.111(1). Any subsequent violation is a class "D" felony. Id. Additionally, if T.H. violates a registration requirement, he must "register for an additional ten years, commencing from the date [his] registration would have expired." Id. § 692A.106(4). T.H.'s registration term will be tolled until he resumes compliance with the statutory requirements. Id. § 692A.107(2).

         T.H. is required to register for at least the duration of his dispositional order. Id. § 232.54(1)(i). If the juvenile court determines that T.H. should remain on the registry beyond the duration of his dispositional order, T.H. will register for a minimum of ten years from the date of his initial registration. Id. § 692A.106(1). However, T.H. may petition for modification after five years if he satisfies a number of conditions. Id. § 692A.128(2). T.H. must complete all ordered sex offender treatment programs, submit to a risk assessment and be deemed a low risk to reoffend, not be incarcerated, and obtain a stipulation to the modification from the director of the judicial district department of correctional services. Id. However, if T.H. is no longer under the juvenile court or department of correctional services' supervision at the time he requests modification, he need not produce the stipulation. Id. 692A.128(6). Accordingly, if T.H. abides by all of the registration requirements, completes all of the ordered treatment programs, and progresses to the point that he may be deemed a low risk to reoffend, he may be released from the obligation to register as a sex offender after five years.

         C. Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

T.H. alleges that mandatory sex offender registration, as applied to juveniles, is grossly disproportionate and, therefore, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Iowa and United States Constitutions. See U.S. Const. amend. VIII; Iowa Const. art. I, § 17. While we have previously heard similar challenges to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry scheme, we have not considered the issue in the context of juveniles, nor have we meaningfully considered a cruel and unusual punishment challenge in light of the significant legislative overhaul of the statutory scheme in 2009. Thus, while our prior sex offender cases are relevant considerations, they are not dispositive.

         1. Sex offender registry as punishment. Before we can assess whether mandatory sex offender registration for certain juveniles is cruel and unusual, we must first determine that registration is, in fact, punishment. See State v. Crooks, 911 N.W.2d 153, 165 (Iowa 2018) (disposing of a constitutional challenge to Iowa's waiver provision for youthful offenders by concluding the statute was not punitive); see also Doe v. Miller, 405 F.3d 700, 723 n.6 (8th Cir. 2005) ("In view of our conclusion that the statute is not punitive, it follows that the law is not a 'cruel and unusual punishment' in violation of the Eighth Amendment."); Rainer v. State, 690 S.E.2d 827, 828 (Ga. 2010) (finding sex offender registration did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because registration is regulatory, rather than punitive, in nature).

         To determine whether mandatory sex offender registration for certain juveniles is punishment, we find cases considering the issue in the context of ex post facto challenges instructive. In State v. Seering, we considered whether the 2000-foot residency restriction for certain offenders was sufficiently punitive to violate the ex post facto prohibition. 701 N.W.2d 655, 667 (Iowa 2005). To ascertain whether the provision was sufficiently punitive, we first considered whether the legislature intended the statute to be punitive, rather than civil, in nature. Id. "If the law was intended to be civil and nonpunitive, then we look to see if it is nevertheless 'so punitive either in purpose or effect as to negate' the nonpunitive intent." Id. (quoting Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84, 92, 123 S.Ct. 1140, 1147 (2003)).

         Accordingly, we first consider whether, in mandating registration for juveniles over the age of fourteen who commit their crimes "by force or the threat of serious violence, by rendering the victim unconscious, or by involuntary drugging of the victim, " the legislature intended to impose criminal punishment. Iowa Code § 692A.103(4). We have previously determined the legislative intent behind enacting chapter 692A was "to protect the health and safety of individuals, especially children, not to impose punishment." Seering, 701 N.W.2d at 667; see also In re S.M.M., 558 N.W.2d 405, 408 (Iowa 1997) ("The purpose of chapter 692A is clear: to require registration of sex offenders and thereby protect society from those who because of probation, parole, or other release are given access to members of the public.").

         Prior to 2009, the statute granted juvenile courts discretion with respect to all juveniles adjudicated delinquent of a qualifying offense. See Iowa Code § 692A.2(6) (2007) ("A person who is convicted . . . of [a qualifying offense] as a result of adjudication of delinquency in juvenile court shall be required to register as required in this chapter unless the juvenile court finds that the person should not be required to register under this chapter."). In 2009, the legislature amended chapter 692A and revoked that discretion with respect to juveniles like T.H., who were at least fourteen years old at the time of their offense and who committed their offense through certain aggravated means. 2009 Iowa Acts ch. 119, § 3 (codified at Iowa Code § 692A.103 (Supp. 2009)).

         The legislature amended the chapter in an effort to more closely comply with the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Maxwell v. Iowa Dep't of Pub. Safety, 903 N.W.2d 179, 185 n.4 (Iowa 2017); see generally 2009 Iowa Acts ch. 119 (amending Iowa Code ch. 692A). SORNA requires juveniles to abide by the registry requirements, including possible lifetime registration, if the juvenile was "14 years of age or older at the time of the offense and the offense adjudicated was comparable to or more severe than aggravated sexual abuse." 34 U.S.C. § 20911(8) (Westlaw through Pub. L. No. 115-173). But see id. § 20927(b)(1) (providing a state may avoid a noncompliance penalty if implementing certain SORNA provisions "would place the jurisdiction in violation of its constitution, as determined by a ruling of the jurisdiction's highest court"). SORNA was promulgated "[i]n order to protect the public from sex offenders and offenders against children." Id. § 20901. Thus, although the provisions have been amended since our decisions in Seering and S.M.M., we believe the legislative intent behind our current sex offender statute remains protective and nonpunitive.

         Nevertheless, we also consider whether the effects and impact of chapter 692A on juveniles is sufficiently punitive to render the scheme penal in nature. In this inquiry, we are guided by the Mendoza-Martinez factors, which consider whether (1) "the sanction involves an affirmative disability or restraint, " (2) "it has historically been regarded as a punishment, " (3) "it comes into play only on a finding of scienter, " (4) "its operation will promote the traditional aims of punishment-retribution and deterrence, " (5) "the behavior to which it applies is already a crime, " (6) "an alternative purpose to which it may rationally be connected is assignable for it, " and (7) "it appears excessive in relation to the alternative purpose assigned." Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144, 168-69, 83 S.Ct. 554, 567-68 (1963).

         a. Affirmative disability or restraint. Chapter 692A, as applied to juveniles, plainly imposes an affirmative disability or restraint. As discussed, juvenile registrants are hindered in meaningfully reintegrating into their communities upon release from treatment facilities or out-of-home placements. While juvenile registrants may continue to attend public school and are not subject to the 2000-foot limitation, they nevertheless may not be present upon, nor loiter within 300 feet of, "any place intended primarily for the use of minors." Iowa Code § 692A.113(1)(h) (2016).

         This restriction could prevent juveniles from participating in prosocial after-school activities, sports teams, and youth clubs that are available to their peers, which in turn severely limits their opportunities to develop communication and social skills with children their own age. Further, juveniles may not visit or loiter near public libraries, other elementary or secondary schools, and child care facilities. Id. § 692A.113(1)(a)-(g). Juveniles who hope to obtain after-school or part-time employment are similarly limited in their options. See id. §§ 692A.113(3)(a)-(e), .115. Thus, the statute in many respects isolates juvenile registrants from their peers outside of school hours.

         Beyond actual exclusion zones, juvenile registrants must appear, in person, to register with the sheriff of the county in which they reside, attend school, or work. Id. § 692A.104(1). Juveniles like T.H. who were adjudicated of a tier III offense must appear in person every three months to verify their residence, employment, and school. Id. § 692A.108(1)(c); cf. Smith, 538 U.S. at 101-02, 123 S.Ct. at 1151-52 (finding Alaska's sex offender statute did not require in-person updates and, therefore, did not impose an affirmative restraint). In fact, the statutory scheme, which requires in-person check-ins, employment conditions, and the possibility of electronic monitoring, is strikingly similar to supervised probation. Despite the protective purpose of the registry's requirements, the totality of the obligations under the statute impose an affirmative restraint on juvenile registrants. This factor therefore weighs in favor of finding the statute punitive.

         b. Historically regarded as punishment. We next consider whether compliance with the sex offender registry, for juveniles, entails conduct that is historically regarded as punitive. In Seering, we considered whether the 2000-foot rule was sufficiently akin to banishment. 701 N.W.2d at 667. We found the rule "only restricts sex offenders from residing in a particular area. Offenders are not banished from communities and are free to engage in most community activities. The statute is far removed from the traditional concept of banishment." Id. at 667-68.

         In Smith, the Supreme Court considered an ex post facto challenge to Alaska's sex offender scheme. The Court rejected the comparison of Alaska's statutory requirements to banishment and public shaming. Smith, 538 U.S. at 98, 123 S.Ct. at 1150. The Court noted that colonial-era practices that required offenders to "stand in public with signs cataloguing their offense, " branded murders with an "M" or thieves with a "T, " and outright banished offenders from their original community, all involved "stag[ing] direct confrontation between the offender and the public." Id. at 97-98, 123 S.Ct. at 1150 (quoting Adam J. Hirsch, From Pillory to Penitentiary: The Rise of Criminal Incarceration in Early Massachusetts, 80 Mich. L. Rev. 1179, 1226 (1982) (first quote)). Indeed, punishments "such as public shaming, humiliation, and banishment, involved more than the dissemination of information. They either held the person up before his fellow citizens for face-to-face shaming or expelled him from the community." Id. The stigma resulting from Alaska's sex offender laws, however,

results not from public display for ridicule and shaming but from the dissemination of accurate information about a criminal record, most of which is already public. Our system does not treat dissemination of truthful information in furtherance of a legitimate governmental objective as punishment. On the contrary, our criminal law tradition insists on public indictment, public trial, and public imposition of sentence. Transparency is essential to maintaining public respect for the criminal justice system, ensuring its integrity, and protecting the rights of the accused. The publicity may cause adverse consequences for the convicted defendant, running from mild personal embarrassment to social ostracism. In contrast to the colonial shaming punishments, however, the State does not make the publicity and the resulting stigma an integral part of the objective of the regulatory scheme.

Id. at 98-99, 123 S.Ct. at 1150.

         While the dissemination of accurate information about a criminal record is not historically punitive for adults, juveniles are traditionally shielded from such publication. Under the juvenile court's jurisdiction, juveniles surrender certain procedural safeguards afforded to adults- namely a trial by jury-in exchange for the benefits of a confidential, rehabilitative system. Juvenile courts were built on the "idea [that] crime and punishment [were] to be abandoned. The child was to be 'treated' and 'rehabilitated' and the procedures, from apprehension through institutionalization, were to be 'clinical' rather than ...


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