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State v. Reine – Case Brief Summary (Ohio)

In State v. Reine, 2003 Ohio 50, 2003 WL 77174 (Ohio Ct. App. 2003), appeal dismissed, 99 Ohio St. 3d 1549, 795 N.E.2d 686 (Ohio 2003), the defendant pled guilty to aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and four counts of kidnapping.

Even though the State stipulated that the defendant's offenses "were committed without any sexual motivation or purpose," because the kidnapping victims were minors, the statute required the trial court to designate the defendant a sexually oriented offender. Id.

Presented with a due process challenge, the appellate court framed the issue as follows:

"The question is whether the requirement that an offender who has committed an offense under circumstances involving no sexual motivation or purpose nevertheless be classified as a "sexually oriented offender," to register and to be reported to the public as a "sexually oriented offender," bears any rational relationship to the purposes of the statute, or whether that requirement is unreasonable or arbitrary as applied to an offender who has committed an offense without any sexual motivation or purpose." Id.

The court stated that the statute's purpose--to protect people, especially children, from sexually oriented offenders--was valid, but that such purpose was not served, and was possibly "dis-served," by designating common criminals such as the defendant as sexual offenders. Id.

Holding the statute unconstitutional as applied, the court stated:

"Because we conclude that the application of the statutory requirement that Reine be classified as a sexually oriented offender, in a case in which it has been stipulated that his offenses were committed without any sexual motivation or purpose, is unreasonable and arbitrary, and bears no rational relationship to the purposes of the statute, we conclude that it offends the Due Process clauses of both the Ohio and United States constitutions." Id.