Trial court abused its discretion by denying petition for termination from the sex offender registry where the prosecution failed to establish that “community safety would be significantly enhanced” by requiring petitioner to continue to register. After 23 years on the sex offender registry with no new convictions, petitioner filed a petition for termination pursuant to Penal Code section 290.5. The trial court denied the petition and ordered that petitioner could not file a new petition for five years. He appealed. Held: Reversed. Effective July 1, 2021, Senate Bill No. 384 established procedures for a person to seek termination from the sex offender registry if he meets certain criteria, including completion of the mandated minimum registration period, which petitioner had completed. (§ 290.5, subds. (a)-(c).) The prosecution may request a hearing and present evidence to establish “community safety would be significantly enhanced by requiring continued registration.” (§ 290.5, subd. (a)(2), (3).) Here, the prosecution did not meet its burden to produce evidence establishing that terminating the registration requirement considerably raised the threat to society because 64-year-old petitioner was currently likely to reoffend. Therefore, the trial court abused its discretion in denying the petition.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/G060963.PDF