Court of Appeals, Dec. 8, 2011

No. 09CA1400. People v. Poage.Sex Offender—Registration—Evidence—Cancellation.

Defendant appealed the judgment of conviction entered following a bench trial finding him guilty of two counts of failure to register as a sex offender (second offense). The judgment of conviction was vacated.

Defendant was required to register as a sex offender. On January 10, 2008, he completed an annual registration form with Adams County, listing 410 Washington Avenue as his “current home address.” On January 23, 2008, a deputy attempted to verify defendant’s residence and found the home vacant. During a bench trial, defendant testified that he had been living with his mother at the address listed on his annual registration form but that the property had been foreclosed. Defendant testified that he slept at friends’ houses and in his car and that his belongings were in storage. He stated that he did not complete a new form with Adams County because he had no address.

On appeal, the People contended that CRS § 18-3-412.5(1) incorporates the entirety of title 16, article 22; therefore, defendant’s actions must be analyzed under CRS § 16-22-108(4)(a). However, when the People elected to proceed under CRS § 18-3-412.5(1)(g) and (i), they abandoned their arguments under CRS § 18-3-412.5(1)(a). Accordingly, their argument failed.

Defendant contended that the prosecution did not present sufficient evidence to support his conviction, because it failed to establish that he no longer resided in the jurisdiction. The plain language of the statute is clear and unambiguous, requiring a sex offender to file a cancellation form with the law enforcement agency “of the jurisdiction in which the person will no longer reside.” Therefore, defendant was not required to file a cancellation of registration form because he did not leave Adams County and the People failed to present any evidence demonstrating that he did so.


Reprinted from Colorado Bar summaries of cases, without modification.