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Name: People v. Cavallaro
Case #: H032499
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/06/2009

Mandatory lifetime sexual offender registration (Pen. Code, sec. 290) of a defendant convicted of Penal Code section 288, subdivision (c)(1) (lewd and lascivious acts on 14- and 15-year-old victims at least 10 years younger than defendant) is not a violation of equal protection. Convicted of six counts of violation of Penal Code section 288, subdivision (c)(1) appellant convinced the trial court that under People v. Hofshier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185, mandatory sex offender registration was a violation of equal protection. The appellate court disagreed, finding that appellant’s equal protection challenge failed because he was unable to establish the existence of a group to which he was similarly situated which was not subject to mandatory registration. The court made the following distinctions between Hofshier, where appellant was convicted of section 288a, subdivision (b)(1) (unlawful nonforcible oral copulation of a 16-year-old girl), and the defendant convicted of section 288, subdivision (c)(1): a) Section 288, subd. (c)(1) contains a specific intent requirement that is absent in section 261.5, subd. (d) (unlawful sexual intercourse), the offense to which Hofshier’s 288a, subd. (b)(1) was compared; b) Section 288, subd. (c)(1) contains a threshold age requirement of defendant such that the Legislature could have concluded that mandatory registration was necessary to monitor the adult preying on the much younger victim; c) Section 288, subd. (c)(1) contains different ages of the victim than the Hofshier victim, suggesting that the Legislature intended to protect the 14- and 15-year-old victim to the same extent as the victim under the age of 14, as described in section 288 subd. (a); and d) A defendant who engages in sexual intercourse with the 14 and 15 year old victim may be convicted under section 288, subd. (c)(1), unlike Hofshier, with the 16-year-old victim, who under no circumstances would be subject to mandatory registration.