In re J. C.

J.C.’s early years were marked by extreme neglect and abuse. He was removed from his mother at age five and placed in numerous foster homes until he was eventually adopted. J.C. would be adjudged a ward of the court when he was 12 years old, for a series of forcible lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14. He would ultimately be placed on probation, and committed to the care and custody of his adoptive mother. The conditions of probation included participation in a sex offender treatment program. The following year J.C. admitted a violation of probation, being in the presence of minors under age 14 without the supervision of an adult. The court revoked and reinstated probation on the same terms. In 2012 it was reported that J.C. inappropriately touched his disabled minor sister. J.C.’s mother stated she could no longer adequately supervise J.C. The juvenile court granted a motion to modify custody and J.C. was placed with Martin’s Achievement Place group home. The People filed a new wardship petition, based on the same allegations that J.C. had committed two lewd and lascivious acts on his 12-year-old sister. A psychological evaluation reported that J.C. was not making progress at the sex offender’s program. J.C. admitted one lewd act; the second violation of probation and the petition were dismissed. The court committed J.C. to (level B) placement at Lakeside Academy in Michigan. An inappropriate touching incident was another probation violation, and prompted Lakeside Academy to move J.C. J.C.’s counsel suggested placement at the Victory Outreach Program, a one-year Christian program for recovery from addiction. The juvenile court found Victory Outreach was not a good fit and committed J.C. to DJF, with a maximum confinement of 10 years,3 not to exceed the statutory limitation of commitment to age 23. The court ordered J.C. to register as a sex offender. On appeal, J.C. contends lifetime sex offender registration for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. In this case, the Court of Appeal concluded mandatory lifetime sex offender registration pursuant to Penal Code section 290.0081 for those adjudicated wards of the court based on the commission of certain sex offenses was not cruel and unusual punishment. The Court of Appeal came to this conclusion because appellant did not establish on the record that such registration was punishment. View "In re J. C." on Justia Law