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Name: People v. Ranscht
Case #: D052811
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/15/2009

Mandatory sex-offender registration pursuant to Penal Code section 290, subdivision (c) as applied to a person convicted of committing section 289, subdivision (h) when he is 18 years of age and the victim is 12 or 13, violates equal protection. When he was 17 years old, appellant met the 12-year-old victim and the two entered a mutual, romantic relationship. In late 2000 and early 2001, the relationship became physical, and the then 18-year-old appellant digitally penetrated the 12 or 13-year-old victim on two separate occasions. In 2006, the victim reported the incidents to her therapist and the matter came to the attention of the district attorney. Appellant pled guilty to one count of section 289, subdivision (h) (sexually penetrating a minor) and was granted probation with mandatory sex registration. Referencing People v. Hofsheier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185, and focusing on the conviction as opposed to underlying conduct, the appellate court found the mandatory registration violative of equal protection as appellant was similarly situated with an offender convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old victim who was subject only to discretionary registration. (Disagreeing with People v. Manchel (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 1108.)