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State v. Christian

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Jefferson

December 27, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
WAYNE CHRISTIAN DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Ohio Case No. 06 CR 79

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Jane M. Hanlin Prosecuting Attorney Jefferson County Justice Center No Brief Filed

          For Defendant-Appellant: Wayne Christian, Pro se #521-627 Trumbull Correctional Institution

          JUDGES: Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Carol Ann Robb

          OPINION

          WAITE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Wayne Christian appeals an October 26, 2016 Jefferson County Common Pleas Court judgment entry denying his "Motion for Declaratory Judgment." Appellant argues that a statute criminalizing sexual conduct between a person with knowledge of their human immunodeficiency virus ("HIV") status and a person under the age of eighteen amounts to a violation of equal protection. Pursuant to State v. Batista, -- Ohio St.3d - 2017-Ohio-8304, -- N.E.3d -Appellant's arguments are without merit and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶2} On June 7, 2006, Appellant was indicted on ten counts of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree in violation of R.C. 2903.11(B)(3). The statute criminalizes sexual conduct between a person who has knowledge of their HIV status and a minor, defined as a person under the age of eighteen. Appellant was charged with engaging in sexual conduct with a sixteen-year-old girl on at least ten occasions without informing her that he is HIV positive and without using protection.

         {¶3} Appellant was convicted on nine of the ten counts by a jury. On May 17, 2007, Appellant was sentenced to eight years of incarceration per count. Counts one, three, four, five, and six were ordered to run consecutively while the remaining counts were ordered to run concurrently. In the aggregate, Appellant was sentenced to forty years of incarceration. The trial court terminated Appellant's postrelease control from a prior case and imposed a mandatory five-year postrelease control period. The court gave him 199 days of jail time credit. Appellant was also declared a sexual predator in accordance with R.C. 2950.01.

         {¶4} We affirmed Appellant's convictions and sentences in State v. Christian, 7th Dist. No. 07 JE 9, 2007-Ohio-7205. Following his direct appeal, Appellant has filed several motions in the trial court. At issue here is the trial court's denial of Appellant's "Motion for Declaratory Judgment." We note that Appellant filed a "Motion for Leave to File Addendum to Merit Brief" with this Court on October 20, 2017 seeking to address a recent California law updating California's HIV laws. We denied his motion.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING DEFENDANT-APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT WITHOUT MAKING A DETERMINATION AS TO THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF R.C. 2903.11(B)(3).
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 2
R.C. 2903.11(B)(3) VIOLATES THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTION 2, ...

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