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State v. Durant

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

November 9, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
RAYMOND S. DURANT DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-92-290675-ZA

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark A. Stanton Cuyahoga County Public Defender John T. Martin Assistant Public Defender

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Daniel T. Van Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: McCormack, J., E.A. Gallagher, P.J., and Celebrezze, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          TIM McCORMACK, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Raymond Durant appeals his sexual predator classification. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} On April 29, 1993, Durant pleaded guilty to one count of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02 and one count of aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and 2911.01. Both counts stem from an incident that occurred on November 19, 1992. Durant, then 19 years old, came upon his 28-year-old victim while she was jogging in Forest Hills Park. Intending to rob the victim, Durant produced a weapon and led her to a secluded area. Durant took the victim's rings, ordered her to remove her clothes, and then raped her.

         {¶3} On June 15, 1993, the trial court sentenced Durant to a maximum of 25 years in prison.

         {¶4} On August 2, 2016, in preparation for Durant's release, the trial court conducted an H.B. 180 hearing. As a result of that hearing, Durant was classified as a sexual predator.

         {¶5} Durant now appeals, arguing in two assignments of error that the trial court erred in classifying him as a sexual predator. Specifically, Durant argues that (1) the trial court did not address the likelihood that he would reoffend, and (2) the state failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Durant is likely to engage in the future in one or more sexually oriented offenses.

         Law and Analysis

         {¶6} Former R.C. 2950.01 et seq., codified under H.B. 180 and popularly known as "Megan's Law, " created three classifications for sexual offenders: sexually oriented offender, habitual sex offender, and sexual predator. See former R.C. 2950.09.

         {¶7} The sexual predator classification attaches automatically in those cases where an offender is convicted of a violent sexually oriented offense and a specification alleging that he or she is a sexually violent predator. State v. Cook, 83 Ohio St.3d 404, 407, 700 N.E.2d 570 (1998), citing former R.C. 2950.09(A). In all other cases of sexually oriented offenders, including the instant case, the trial court may designate the offender as a sexual predator "only after holding a hearing where the offender is entitled to be represented by counsel, testify, and call and cross-examine witnesses." Id., citing former R.C. 2950.09(B)(1) and (C)(2).

         {¶8} A sexual predator is "a person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to committing a sexually oriented offense and is likely to engage in the future in one or more ...


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