Court Nos. SO 2008 00001, SO 2008 00002
J. Baxter, Erie County Special Prosecuting Attorney, and
Martha S. Schultes, Assistant Special Prosecuting Attorney,
Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Timothy B. Hackett,
Assistant State Public Defender, for appellant.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT
1} This is an appeal from an August 21, 2017
judgment of the Huron County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile
Division, denying appellant's February 2, 2017 motion to
vacate a September 21, 2010 sexual offender classification.
For the reasons set forth below, this court reverses the
judgment of the trial court and remands the matter to the
trial court for further proceedings consistent with this
2} Appellant, R.J., a minor at the time of the
underlying events, sets forth the following two assignments
I. The juvenile court erred when it denied R.J.'s motion
to vacate his classification as void, because the court was
not authorized to classify him under R.C. 2151.82.
II. The juvenile court erred when it denied R.J.'s motion
to vacate his classification, because R.C. 2152.86 was
inapplicable and facially unconstitutional.
3} The following undisputed facts are relevant to
this appeal. On April 10, 2008, appellant was adjudicated to
be a delinquent minor on one count of felonious assault, in
violation of R.C. 2903.11, a felony of the first degree, one
count of attempted rape, in violation of R.C. 2923.02, a
felony of the second degree, and one count of abduction, in
violation of R.C. 2905.02, a felony of the third degree.
Appellant was 15 years of age at the time of the offenses.
4} Following these crimes, appellant was committed
to a term of incarceration in the Ohio Department of Youth
Services ("DYS") of a minimum of two and one-half
years to a maximum of appellant's 21st birthday. On
September 21, 2010, appellant was released from DYS.
5} On September 21, 2010, simultaneous to the
release, a hearing was conducted pursuant to which appellant
was designated to be a Tier III sexual offender for
registration purposes. As specifically relevant to this
appeal, the trial court erroneously classified appellant for
registration purposes as a Tier III offender pursuant to R.C.
2152.82 and 2152.86.
6} R.C. 2152.82 is Ohio's more stringent repeat
juvenile offender classification statute. Appellant was not a
repeat offender. R.C. 2152.86 imposed more stringent
registration requirements upon offenders whom the trial court
imposed a serious youthful offender ("SYO")
sentence at disposition. Appellant was not sentenced as a
serious youthful offender.
7} Appellant received a traditional juvenile
sentence, not an SYO sentence. In addition, R.C. 2152.86 was
subsequently stricken as unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme
Court in 2012. In re C.P., 131 Ohio St.3d 513,
2012-Ohio-1446, 967 N.E.2d 729.
8} On February 2, 2017, approximately seven years
following the subject classification hearing, appellant filed
a motion to vacate his 2010 sexual offender classification.
In support, appellant argued that it was improper for the
trial court to impose the more stringent classification and