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H.856

 

An act relating to enhancing sentences for and preventing risks posed by dangerous sexual offenders

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  SHORT TITLE

This act may be known as the “Sexual Violence Prevention Act.”

Sec. 2.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT

The General Assembly intends that any increase in the rate of incarceration of sexual offenders caused by this act be offset by a decrease in the rate of incarceration of non-violent offenders.

* * * Prevention * * *

Sec. 3.  SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION TASK FORCE

(a)  The general assembly acknowledges that many diverse organizations in Vermont currently provide sexual violence prevention education in Vermont schools with minimal financial support from the state.  In order to further the goal of comprehensive, collaborative statewide sexual violence prevention efforts, the anti-violence partnership at the University of Vermont shall convene a task force to identify opportunities for sexual violence prevention education in Vermont schools.  The task force shall conduct an inventory of  sexual violence prevention activities currently offered by Vermont schools and by nonprofit and other nongovernmental organizations, and shall provide information to them concerning the changes to law made by this act and concerning the consequences of sexual activity among minors.

(b)  The task force established by this section shall include representatives from:

(A)  The department of education.

(B)  The department of health.

(C)  The department of children and families.

(D)  The judiciary department.

(E)  An organization which works with youthful sex offenders.

(F)  Prevent child abuse-Vermont.

(G)  The Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.

(H)  The Vermont center for prevention and treatment of sexual abuse.

(I)  The University of Vermont college of education and social services.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2007, and on or before January 15 for five years thereafter, the task force shall report on its activities during the preceding year to the house and senate committees on education and judiciary.  The task force shall cease to exist after it files the report due on January 15, 2012.


* * * Investigation * * *

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 1940 is amended to read:

§ 1940.  TASK FORCES; SPECIALIZED INVESTIGATIVE UNITS;

               BOARD; GRANTS

(a)  Pursuant to the authority established under section 1938 of this title, and in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, investigative agencies, victims advocates and social service providers, the department of state’s attorneys shall coordinate efforts to provide access in each region of the state to special investigative unit to investigate sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence, or crimes against those with physical or developmental disabilities.  The general assembly intends that access to special investigative units be available to all Vermonters as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than July 1, 2009.

(b)  A task force or specialized investigative unit organized and operating under section 1938 of this title section may accept, receive, and disburse in furtherance of its duties and functions any funds, grants, and services made available by the state of Vermont and its agencies, the federal government and its agencies, any municipality or other unit of local government, or private or civic sources.  Any employee covered by an agreement establishing a special investigative unit shall remain an employee of the donor agency.

(b)(c)  A specialized investigative unit grants board is created which shall be comprised of the attorney general, the secretary of administration, the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys, the commissioner of the department of public safety, the executive director of the center for crime victim services, and the executive director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.  Specialized investigative units organized and operating under section 1938 of this title section for the investigation of sex crimes, child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, or crimes against those with physical or developmental disabilities may apply to the board for a grant or grants covering the costs of salaries and employee benefits to be expended during a given year for the performance of unit duties as well as unit operating costs for rent, utilities, equipment, training, and supplies.  Grants under this section shall be approved by a majority of the entire board and shall not exceed 50 percent of the yearly salary and employee benefit costs of the unit.  Preference shall be given to grant applications which include the participation of the department of public safety, the department of children and families, and municipalities within the region.  

(c)(d)  The board may adopt rules relating to grant eligibility criteria, processes for applications, awards, and reports related to grants authorized pursuant to this section.  The attorney general shall be the adopting authority.

* * * Sentencing * * *

Sec. 5.  13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) is amended to read:

§ 1021.  DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this chapter:

* * *

(2)  “Serious bodily injury” means:

(A)  bodily injury which creates any of the following:

(i)  a substantial risk of death or which causes;

(ii)  a substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or;

(iii)  a substantial impairment of health,; or

(iv)  substantial disfigurement; or

(B)  strangulation by intentionally impeding normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person.

Sec. 6.  13 V.S.A. § 1375 is amended to read:

§ 1375.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(5)  “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or substantial impairment of health, or substantial disfigurement shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 1021(2) of this title.

* * *

Sec. 7.  13 V.S.A. § 2602 is amended to read:

§ 2602.  LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT WITH CHILD

(a)(1)  No person shall willfully and lewdly commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 16 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of such person or of such child.

(2)  This section shall not apply if the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the conduct is consensual.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be:

(1)  For a first offense, imprisoned not less than one year two years and not more than 15 years or, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(2)  For a second offense, imprisoned not less than two five years and not more than 30 years or a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $10,000.00 $25,000.00, or both.

(3)  For a third or subsequent offense, imprisoned not less than three ten years and up to and including a maximum term of life or, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $25,000.00, or both. 

(c)(1)  Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, a sentence ordered pursuant to subdivision (b)(2) of this section shall include at least a five-year term of imprisonment and a sentence ordered pursuant to subdivision (b)(3) of this section shall include at least a ten-year term of imprisonment.  The five-year and ten-year terms of imprisonment required by this subdivision shall be served and may not be suspended, deferred, or served as a supervised sentence.  The defendant shall not be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, or any other type of early release until the expiration of the five-year or

ten-year term of imprisonment.

(2)  The court may depart downwardly from the five-year and ten-year terms of imprisonment required by subdivisions (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section and impose a lesser term of incarceration if the court makes written findings on the record that the downward departure will serve the interests of justice and public safety.

(d)  A person convicted of violating subdivision (b)(2) or (b)(3) of this section shall be sentenced under section 3271 of this title.


Sec. 8.  13 V.S.A. § 2828 is amended to read:

§ 2828.  USE OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TO LURE LURING

               A CHILD

(a)  No person shall knowingly utilize an electronic communication to solicit, lure, or entice, or to attempt to solicit, lure, or entice, a child under the age of 16 or another person believed by the person to be a child under the age of 16, to engage in a sexual act as defined in section 3251 of this title or engage in lewd and lascivious conduct as defined in section 2602 of this title. 

(b)  This section applies to solicitation, luring, or enticement by any means, including in person, through written or telephonic correspondence or electronic communication.

(c)  This section shall not apply if the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the conduct is consensual.

Sec. 9.  13 V.S.A. chapter 72 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 72.  SEXUAL ASSAULT

Subchapter 1.  Crimes; Trial

§ 3251.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(4)  “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or substantial impairment of health, or substantial disfigurement shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 1021(2) of this title;

* * *

§ 3252.  SEXUAL ASSAULT

(a)  A No person who engages shall engage in a sexual act with another person and

(1)  Compels compel the other person to participate in a sexual act:

(A)(1)  Without without the consent of the other person; or

(B)(2)  By by threatening or coercing the other person; or

(C)(3)  By by placing the other person in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury; or.

(2)  Has impaired (b)  No person shall engage in a sexual act with another person and impair substantially the ability of the other person to appraise or control conduct by administering or employing drugs or intoxicants without the knowledge or against the will of the other person; or.

(3)  The other person (c)  No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 16, except:

(1)  where the persons are married to each other and the sexual act is consensual; or

(2)  where the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the sexual act is consensual.

(4)  The other person (d)  No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 18 and is entrusted to the actor’s care by authority of law or is the actor’s child, grandchild, foster child, adopted child, or step-child; shall be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both stepchild.

(b)(e)  A No person who engages shall engage in a sexual act with another person a child under the age of 16 and if:

(1)  the victim is entrusted to the actor’s care by authority of law or is the actor’s child, grandchild, foster child, adopted child, or step-child stepchild; or

(2)  the actor is at least 18 years of age, resides in the victim’s household, and serves in a parental role with respect to the victim;

shall be imprisoned for not more than 35 years, or fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

(f)(1)  A person who violates subsection (a), (b), (d), or (e) of this section shall be imprisoned not less than three years and for a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $25,000.00.

(2)  A person who violates subsection (c) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $10,000.00.

(g)  A person convicted of violating subsection (a), (b), (d), or (e) of this section shall be sentenced under section 3271 of this title.

§ 3253.  AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

(a)  A person commits the crime of aggravated sexual assault if the person commits sexual assault under any one of the following circumstances:

(1)  At the time of the sexual assault, the actor causes serious bodily injury to the victim or to another.

(2)  The actor is joined or assisted by one or more persons in physically restraining, assaulting or sexually assaulting the victim.

(3)  The actor commits the sexual act under circumstances which constitute the crime of kidnapping.

(4)  The actor has previously been convicted in this state of sexual assault under subdivision 3252(a)(1) or (2) subsection 3252(a) or (b) of this title or aggravated sexual assault or has been convicted in any jurisdiction in the United States or territories of an offense which would constitute sexual assault under subdivision 3252(a)(1) or (2) subsection 3252(a) or (b) of this title or aggravated sexual assault if committed in this state.

(5)  At the time of the sexual assault, the actor is armed with a deadly weapon and uses or threatens to use the deadly weapon on the victim or on another.

(6)  At the time of the sexual assault, the actor threatens to cause imminent serious bodily injury to the victim or to another and the victim reasonably believes that the actor has the present ability to carry out the threat.

(7)  At the time of the sexual assault, the actor applies deadly force to the victim.

(8)  The victim is under the age of 10 12 and the actor is at least 18 years of age.

(9)  The victim is subjected by the actor to repeated nonconsensual sexual acts as part of the same occurrence or the victim is subjected to repeated nonconsensual sexual acts as part of the actor’s common scheme and plan.

(b)  A person who commits the crime of aggravated sexual assault shall be imprisoned up to and including not less than ten years and a maximum term of life or, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $50,000.00, or both.  No person who receives a minimum sentence under this section shall be eligible for early release or furlough until the expiration of the minimum sentence imposedA minimum sentence ordered pursuant to this section shall include at least a ten-year term of imprisonment which shall be served and may not be suspended, deferred, or served as a supervised sentence.  The defendant shall not be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, or any other type of early release until the expiration of the ten-year term of imprisonment.

(c)  A person convicted of violating this section shall be sentenced under section 3271 of this title.

* * *

Subchapter 2.  Sentencing, Treatment, and Supervision

§ 3271.  INDETERMINATE LIFE SENTENCE

(a)  A person who commits one of the following offenses shall be sentenced under this section:

(1)  Lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, second or subsequent offense, in violation of subdivision 2602(b)(2) of this title.

(2)  Sexual assault in violation of section 3252(a), (b), (d), or (e) of this title.

(3)  Aggravated sexual assault in violation of section 3253 of this title.

(b)  If a person is sentenced under this section, the person’s maximum sentence shall be imprisonment for life.

(c)  If a person sentenced under this section receives a sentence that is wholly or partially suspended, sex offender conditions and treatment shall be a condition of the person’s probation agreement.

(d)  If a person sentenced under this section receives a sentence for an unsuspended term of incarceration, the person shall not be released until the person successfully completes all sex offender treatment and programming required by the department of corrections, unless the department determines that the person poses a sufficiently low risk of reoffense to protect the community or that a program can be implemented which adequately supervises the person and addresses any risk the person may pose to the community.

Sec. 10.  28 V.S.A. § 204 is amended to read:

§ 204.  SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN REPORT; PROTECTION OF

             RECORDS

* * *

(c)  The report ordered by the court under this section or section 204a of this title shall be made not less than one week nor more than three weeks from the date of the order. This three week limit may be extended by order of the court.

* * *

(e)  The presentence report ordered by the court under this section or section 204a of this title shall include the comments or written statement of the victim, or the victim's guardian or next of kin if the victim is incompetent or deceased, whenever the victim or the victim's guardian or next of kin choose to submit comments or a written statement.

(f)  If the offense charged is aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, lewd and lascivious behavior, lewd or lascivious behavior with a child, or sexual exploitation of children, the report shall address the issue of the availability of appropriate treatment programs within correctional facilities and on an outpatient basis in the community, including recommendation as to the defendant's eligibility for such treatment programs and shall include a statement of the relevant policies of the department of corrections regarding parole recommendations for the offense of which the offender was convicted.

Sec. 11.  28 V.S.A. § 204a is added to read:

§ 204a.  SEXUAL OFFENDERS; PRE-SENTENCE INVESTIGATIONS;

              RISK ASSESSMENTS; PSYCHOSEXUAL EVALUATIONS

(a)  The department of corrections shall conduct a presentence investigation for all persons convicted of:

(1)  lewd and lascivious conduct in violation of section 2601 of this title;

(2)  lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in violation of section 2602 of this title;

(3)  sexual assault in violation of section 3252 of this title;

(4)  aggravated sexual assault in violation of section 3253 of this title; or

(5)  an offense involving sexual exploitation of children in violation of chapter 64 of this title.

(b)  A presentence investigation required by this section:

(1)  shall include an assessment of the offender’s risk of reoffense and a determination of whether the person is a high risk offender;

(2)  shall include a psychosexual evaluation if so ordered by the court; and

(3)  shall be completed before the defendant is sentenced.  Upon completion, the department shall submit copies to the court, the state’s attorney, and the defendant’s attorney.

(c)(1)  The department of corrections shall prepare a recommendation for programming and treatment for all persons for whom a presentence investigation is required under subsection (a) of this section.  The department shall consider the information contained in the presentence investigation when recommending the programming and treatment appropriate for the offender.

(2)  The recommendation required by this subdivision shall address the issue of the availability of appropriate treatment programs within correctional facilities and on an outpatient basis in the community, including recommendation as to the defendant's eligibility for such treatment programs, and shall include a statement of the relevant policies of the department of corrections regarding parole recommendations for the offense of which the offender was convicted.

(3)(A)  The court may order the department to provide a report including:

(i)  the minimum and maximum sentences necessary to permit admission of the offender to any of the available treatment programs; and

(ii)  the results of a pre-assessment of the offender.

(B)  A pre-assessment under this subdivision shall consist of:

(i)  an interview with the defendant;

(ii)  an assessment of the offender’s risk level;

(iii)  completion of testing and any other steps necessary to make an appropriate programming decision for the defendant;

(iv)  identification of the treatment program within a correctional facility to which the offender will be referred based on the information available at the time of sentencing, provided the defendant agrees to treatment and is sentenced to a term which permits participation in the program.

(C)(i)  Except as provided in subdivision (ii) of this subdivision (C), the department shall provide a report to the court under this subdivision within 60 days after it is ordered.

(ii)  If the department requires a psychosexual evaluation in order to determine whether the offender will be admitted into any of the available treatment programs, the department shall complete the evaluation and provide it to the court along with its report within 90 days after the report is ordered.

(d)  The requirement that a presentence investigation be performed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section:

(1)  may be waived if the court finds that a report is not necessary for purposes of sentencing; and

(2)  shall not be interpreted to prohibit the performance of a presentence investigation, psychosexual evaluation, or risk assessment at any other time during the proceeding, including prior to the entry of a plea agreement or prior to sentencing for a violation of probation.

(e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to infringe in any manner upon the department’s authority to make decisions about programming for defendants or to create a right on the part of the offender to receive treatment in a particular program. 

* * * Treatment * * *

Sec. 12.  REPORT

On or before January 15, 2007, the department of corrections shall report to the corrections oversight committee:

(1)  the total current resources and expenditures allocated for providing sex offender programming and treatment to incarcerated offenders;

(2)  the resources and expenditures necessary to provide sex offender programming and treatment to all incarcerated offenders who are amenable to treatment; and

(3)  any significant programmatic changes, including but not limited to elimination of a program. 


*** Vermont Sentencing Commission ***

Sec. 13.  13 V.S.A. chapter 169 is added to read:

Chapter 169.  VERMONT SENTENCING COMMISSION

§ 5451.  CREATION OF COMMISSION

(a)  The Vermont sentencing commission is established for the purpose of overseeing criminal sentencing practices in the state, reducing geographical disparities in sentencing, and making recommendations regarding criminal sentencing to the general assembly.

(b)  The committee shall consist of the following members:

(1)  the chief justice of the Vermont supreme court, or designee;

(2)  the administrative judge, or designee, provided that the designee is a sitting or retired Vermont judge;

(3)  a district or superior court judge with substantial criminal law experience appointed by the administrative judge;

(4)  the chair of the senate judiciary committee;

(5)  the chair of the house judiciary committee;

(6)  the attorney general or designee;

(7)  the defender general or designee;

(8)  the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, or designee;

(9)  the appellate defender;

(10)  a state’s attorney appointed by the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs;

(11)  a staff public defender with experience in juvenile defense matters appointed by the defender general;

(12)  an attorney with substantial criminal law experience appointed by the Vermont bar association;

(13)  the commissioner of corrections or designee;

(14)  the commissioner of public safety or designee;

(15)  the executive director of the Vermont center for crime victim services or designee;

(16)  the executive director of the Vermont center for justice research; and

(17)  one member of the public appointed by the governor.

(c)  The Chief Justice shall appoint a chair and vice chair of the commission.   Legislative members of the commission shall serve only while in office.  A substitute shall be appointed for a legislator who no longer serves in such capacity.  All other members of the commission shall serve on the committee for renewable two-year terms for as long as the member continues to hold the position which made the member eligible for appointment to or membership on the committee.  Vacancies shall be appointed in the same manner as original appointments.

(d)  The commission shall meet at least quarterly and at any additional times at the call of the chair.  The commission shall take minutes of its meetings and may hold public hearings.  Ten members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

(e)  The commission shall have the assistance and cooperation of the department of public safety, the department of corrections, the department of social and rehabilitation services, the judiciary department, the department of sheriff’s and state’s attorneys, the office of defender general, the Vermont center for crime victim services, and all other state and local agencies and departments. 

(f)  Legislative members of the commission shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses in accordance with section 406 of Title 2.  Members of the commission who are not otherwise compensated by their employer shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses in the same manner as board members are compensated under section 1010 of Title 32.

§ 5452.  DUTIES

(a)  In addition to the general responsibilities set forth in subsection 5451 of this title, the commission shall:

(1)  Report on historical and existing sentencing practices in Vermont, including the frequency and duration of incarcerative and non-incarcerative sentences for particular offenses.

(2)  Report on geographical sentencing disparities which result in a defendant’s sentence for an offense varying substantially on the basis of the county in which it is committed.

(3)  Propose a system of statewide discretionary sentencing guidelines which take into account historical and existing sentencing practices and establish rational and consistent statewide sentencing standards. 

(4)  Review alternatives to the traditional prosecutorial model and make recommendations for alternative sentencing methods to the general assembly;

(5)  Review practices involving probation, parole, early or conditional release, pre-approved furlough, supervised community sentence, graduated sanctions, and the awarding of sentencing credits, and make recommendations concerning such practices to the department of corrections and the general assembly;

(6)  Review developments in criminal law, including statutory modifications and judicial decisions, and make recommendations to the general assembly when the commission determines that legislative changes are advisable;

(7)  Review proposed legislation and make recommendations concerning the proposals to the general assembly;

(8)  Consider any other issue the commission finds relevant to criminal sentencing and the criminal justice system.

(b)  The commission shall report its activities and recommendations, including any proposals for legislative action, to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 1, 2007, and no later than December 1 of each year thereafter.

* * * Non-Violent Offenders * * *

Global Positioning System

Sec. 14.  Sec. 23 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 23.  ELECTRONIC MONITORING

(a)  The department of corrections is authorized to implement a pilot program using a global positioning system (“GPS”) or other electronic monitoring within the community pursuant to the terms of the plan submitted by the department to the house committees on appropriations and institutions in January 2005 (the “pilot program”); provided that the pilot program may only involve:

(1)  20 100 offenders at any one time.

(2)  Offenders convicted of D.U.I. pursuant to Title 23 and nonviolent offenders who might otherwise be incarcerated for violating the conditions of their release

(b)  When the department of corrections determines that an offender shall be subject to electronic monitoring under this subdivision, the department shall provide notice of its determination to the victim of the offense, if the victim has filed a request for notification with the department.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2006, 2007, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the house and senate committees on appropriations and on judiciary regarding the department’s progress in implementing the pilot program.

* * * Term Probation for Non-Violent Felons * * *

Sec. 15.  28  V.S.A. § 205 is amended to read:

§ 205.  PROBATION

(a)(1)  After passing sentence, a court may suspend all or part of the sentence and place the person so sentenced in the care and custody of the commissioner upon such conditions and for such time as it may prescribe in accordance with law or until further order of court.

(2)  The term of probation for misdemeanors shall be for a specific term not to exceed two years unless the court, in its sole discretion, specifically finds that the interests of justice require a longer or an indefinite period of probation.

(3)(A)  The term of probation for non-violent felonies shall not exceed the statutory maximum term of imprisonment for the offense unless the court, in its sole discretion, specifically finds that the interests of justice require a longer or an indefinite period of probation.

(B)  As used in this subdivision, “non-violent felonies” means an offense which is not:

(i)  a listed crime as defined in subdivision 5301(7) of Title 13; or

(ii)  an offense involving sexual exploitation of children in violation of chapter 6 of Title 13.

(4)  Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the court from terminating the period of probation and discharging a person pursuant to section 251 of this title.

(5)  The probation officer of a person on probation for a specific term shall review the person's case file during probation and, not less than 45 days prior to the expiration of the probation term, may file a petition with the court requesting the court to extend the period of probation for a specific term not to exceed one year in order to provide the person the opportunity to complete programming consistent with special conditions of probation.  A hearing on the petition for an extension of probation under this subsection shall comply with the procedures set forth in Rule 32.1 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure.

* * *

* * * Non-Violent Felony Unit in Defender General’s Office * * *

Sec. 16.  DEFENDER GENERAL; NON-VIOLENT FELONY UNIT

(a)  A non-violent felony unit dedicated to defending non-violent felonies is established within the office of the defender general.

(b)  As used in this section, “non-violent felonies” means an offense which is not:

(1)  a listed crime as defined in subdivision 5301(7) of Title 13; or

(2)  an offense involving sexual exploitation of children in violation of chapter 6 of Title 13.

* * * Sex Offender Registry * * *

Violent Offender Registry

Sec. 17.  13 V.S.A. § 5401 is amended to read:

§ 5401.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

* * *

(17)   “Violent Offender” means a person who has been convicted of a violent offense as defined in subdivision 18 of this section.

(18)  “Violent Offense” means murder as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2301, aggravated murder as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2311, kidnapping as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2405, arson causing death as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 501, any attempt to commit a crime listed herein or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction of the United States.

(19)  “Violent Predator” means a person who has been convicted of a violent offense as defined in subdivision (18) of this section, and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory violent offenses.

Sec. 18.  13 V.S.A. § 5402 is amended to read:

§ 5402.  SEX OFFENDER AND VIOLENT OFFENDER REGISTRY

(a)  The department of public safety shall establish and maintain a sex offender and violent offender registry, which shall consist of the information required to be filed under this subchapter.

(b)  All information contained in the registry may be disclosed for any purpose permitted under the law of this state, including use by:

(1)  local, state and federal law enforcement agencies exclusively for lawful law enforcement activities;

(2)  state and federal governmental agencies for the exclusive purpose of conducting confidential background checks;

(3)  any employer, including a school district, who is authorized by law to request records and information from the Vermont criminal information center, where such disclosure is necessary to protect the public concerning persons required to register under this subchapter.  The identity of a victim of an offense that requires registration shall not be released; and

(4)  a person identified as a sex offender or violent offender in the registry for the purpose of reviewing the accuracy of any record relating to him or her.  The identity of a victim of an offense that requires registration shall not be released.

* * *

Sec. 19.  13 V.S.A. § 5403 is amended to read:

§ 5403.  REPORTING UPON CONVICTION

(a)  Upon conviction and prior to sentencing, the court shall order the sex offender or violent offender to provide the court with the following information, which the court shall forward to the department forthwith:

(1)  name;

(2)  date of birth;

(3)  general physical description;

(4)  current address;

(5)  Social Security number;

(6)  fingerprints;

(7)  current photograph;

(8)  current employment; and

(9)  name and address of any postsecondary educational institution at which the sex offender or violent offender is enrolled as a student.

(b)  Within 10 days after sentencing, the court shall forward to the department the sex offender's or violent offender’s conviction record, including offense, date of conviction, sentence and any conditions of release or probation.

Sec. 20.  13 V.S.A. § 5404 is amended to read:

§ 5404.  REPORTING UPON RELEASE FROM CONFINEMENT OR

               SUPERVISION

(a)  Upon receiving a sex offender or violent offender from the court on a probationary sentence or any alternative sentence under community supervision by the department of corrections, or prior to releasing a sex offender or violent offender from confinement or supervision, the department of corrections shall forward to the department the following information concerning the sex offender or violent offender:

(1)  an update of the information listed in subsection 5403(a) of this title;

(2)  the address upon release;

(3)  name, address, and telephone number of the local department of corrections office in charge of monitoring the sex offender or violent offender; and

(4)  documentation of any treatment or counseling received.

(b)  The department of corrections shall notify the department within 24 hours of the time a sex offender or violent offender changes his or her address or place of employment, or enrolls in or separates from any postsecondary educational institution. In addition, the department of corrections shall provide the department with any updated information requested by the department.

(c)  The information required to be provided by subsection (a) of this section shall also be provided by the department of corrections to a sex offender's or violent offender’s parole or probation officer within three days of the time a sex offender or violent offender is placed on probation or parole by the court or parole board.

(d)  If it has not been previously submitted, upon receipt of the information to be provided to the department pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the department shall immediately transmit the conviction data and fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Sec. 21.  13 V.S.A. § 5405 is amended to read:

§ 5405.  COURT DETERMINATION OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT

               PREDATORS AND VIOLENT PREDATORS

(a)  The general assembly finds that some sexual offenders and violent offenders should be subject to increased sex offender or violent offender registry and community notification procedures. It is the intent of the general assembly that state's attorneys utilize the provisions in this section to petition the court to designate those offenders who pose a greater risk to the public as sexually violent predators or violent predators to ensure that those offenders will be required to register as sex offenders or violent offenders for life, and that they will be among those offenders who are included on the state's internet sex offender and violent offender registry.

(b)  Within 15 days after the conviction of a sex offender or violent offender, the state may file a petition with the court requesting that the person be designated as a sexually violent predator or violent predator.

(c)  The determination of whether a person is a sexually violent predator or violent predator shall be made by the court at the time of sentencing.

(d)  The court shall order a presentence investigation which, in the case of a sex offender, shall include a psychosexual evaluation of the offender.

(e)  In making a determination of whether the person is a sexually violent predator or violent predator, the court shall examine the following:

(1)  the person's criminal history;

(2)  any testimony presented at trial, including expert testimony as to the person's mental state;

(3)  the person's history of treatment for a personality disorder or mental abnormality connected with his or her criminal sexual behavior or violent behavior;

(4)  any mitigating evidence, including treatment history, evidence of modified behavior, or expert testimony, which the convicted sex offender or violent offender wishes to provide to the court prior to the determination; and

(5)  any other relevant evidence.

(f)  The standard of proof when the court makes such a determination shall be clear and convincing evidence that the convicted sex offender or violent offender suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses or predatory violent offenses.

(g)  The court shall determine whether the offender was eligible to be charged as a habitual offender as provided in section 11 of this title or a violent career criminal as provided in section 11a of this title and shall make findings as to such.

(h)  After making its determinations, the court shall issue a written decision explaining the reasons for its determinations and provide a copy of the decision to the department within 10 days.

(i)  A person who is determined to be a sexually violent predator or violent predator shall be subject to sex offender or violent offender lifetime registration and community notification and inclusion on the internet sex offender and violent offender registry as provided in this subchapter.

Sec. 22.  13 V.S.A. § 5406 is amended to read:

§ 5406.  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS DUTY TO PROVIDE

               NOTICE

Upon receiving a sex offender or violent offender from the court on a probationary sentence or any alternative sentence under community supervision by the department of corrections, or upon the release of a sex offender or violent offender from a correctional facility, the department of corrections shall do each of the following:

(1)  inform the sex offender or violent offender of the duty to register and keep the registration current as provided in section 5407 of this title;

(2)  inform the sex offender or violent offender that if the sex offender or violent offender changes residence to another state, the sex offender or violent offender shall notify the department of the new address and shall also register with the designated law enforcement agency in the new state not later than three days after establishing residence in the new state, if the new state has a registration requirement;

(3)  require the sex offender or violent offender to read and sign a form stating that the duty of the sex offender or violent offender to register under this section has been explained and is understood.  The registration form shall be sent to the department without delay; and

(4)  inform the sex offender or violent offender that if he or she crosses into another state for purposes of employment, carrying on a vocation, or being a student, the sex offender or violent offender must notify the department of the new address, and shall register with the designated law enforcement agency in the other state, if the other state has a registration requirement.

Sec. 23.  13 V.S.A. § 5407 is amended to read:

§ 5407.  SEX OFFENDER'S AND VIOLENT OFFENDER’S DUTY TO

               REPORT

(a)  A sex offender or violent offender shall report to the department as follows:

(1)  if convicted of a registry offense in another state, within 10 days after either establishing residence in this state or crossing into this state for purposes of employment, carrying on a vocation, or being a student, the sex offender or violent offender shall provide the information listed in subsection 5403(a) of this title;

(2)  annually within 10 days after the registrant's birthday, or if a person is determined to be a sexually violent predator or violent predator, that person shall report to the department every 90 days;

* * *

(b)  If a sex offender or violent offender changes residence to another state, or crosses into another state for purposes of employment, carrying on a vocation, or being a student, the sex offender or violent offender shall notify the department of the new address and shall also register with the designated law enforcement agency in the new state not later than three days after establishing residence in the new state, if the new state has a registration requirement.

(c)  Upon a sex offender's or violent offender’s change of residence to another state, the department shall immediately notify the designated law enforcement agency in the new state, if the new state has a registration requirement.

(d)  The report required by this section shall include the information required by sections 5403 and 5404 of this chapter.

(e)  Except as provided for in subsection (f) of this section, a person required to register as a sex offender or violent offender under this subchapter shall continue to comply with this section, except during periods of incarceration, until 10 years have elapsed since the person was released from prison or discharged from parole, supervised release, or probation, whichever is later.  The 10-year period shall not be affected or reduced in any way by the actual duration of the offender's sentence as imposed by the court, nor shall it be reduced by the sex offender's or violent offender’s release on parole or ending of probation or other early release.

(f)  A person required to register as a sex offender or violent offender under this subchapter shall continue to comply with this section for the life of that person, except during periods of incarceration, if that person:

(1)  has at least one prior conviction for an offense described in subdivision 5401(10) or subdivision 5401(18) of this subchapter or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction of the United States;

(2)  has been convicted of a sexual assault as defined in section 3252 of this title or aggravated sexual assault as defined in section 3253 of this title; however, if a person convicted under section 3252 is not more than six years older than the victim of the assault and if the victim is 14 years or older, then the offender shall not be required to register for life if the age of the victim was the basis for the conviction; or

(3)  has been convicted of murder as defined in section 2301 of this title, aggravated murder as defined in section 2311 of this title, kidnapping as defined in section 2405 of this title, or arson causing death as defined in section 501 of this title; or

(4)  has been determined to be a sexually violent predator pursuant to section 5405 of this subchapter.

(g)  The department shall adopt forms and procedures for the purpose of verifying the addresses of persons required to register under this subchapter in accordance with the requirements set forth in section (b)(3) of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act and in accordance with federal violent offender registration laws.  Every 90 days for sexually violent predators and violent predators, and annually for other registrants, the department shall verify addresses of registrants by sending a nonforwardable address verification form to each registrant at the address last reported by the registrant.  The registrant shall be required to sign and return the form to the department within 10 days of receipt.

(h)  A registrant who has no permanent address shall report to the department to notify it as to his or her temporary residence.  Temporary residence, for purposes of this section, need not include an actual dwelling or numbered street address, but shall identify a specific location.  A registrant shall not be required to check in daily if he or she makes acceptable other arrangements with the department to keep his or her information current.


Sec. 24.  13 V.S.A. § 5410 is amended to read:

§ 5410.  VICTIM NOTIFICATION

If requested by a victim, the department shall promptly notify the victim of the initial registration of a sex offender or violent offender and any time the sex offender or violent offender changes address, where such disclosure is necessary to protect the victim or the public concerning a person required to register under this subchapter.

Sec. 25.  13 V.S.A. § 5411 is amended to read:

§ 5411.  NOTIFICATION TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND

               LOCAL COMMUNITY

(a)  Upon receiving a sex offender's or violent offender’s registration materials from the department of corrections, notification that a nonresident sex offender or violent offender has crossed into Vermont for the purpose of employment, carrying on a vocation, or being a student, or a sex offender's or violent offender’s release or change of address, including changes of address which involve taking up residence in this state, the department shall immediately notify the local law enforcement agency of the following information, which may be used only for lawful law enforcement activities:

(1)  name;

(2)  general physical description;

(3)  nature of offense;

(4)  sentence;

(5)  the fact that the registry has on file additional information, including the sex offender's or violent offender’s photograph and fingerprints;

(6)  current employment;

(7)  name and address of any postsecondary educational institution at which the sex offender or violent offender is enrolled as a student; and

(8)  whether the offender complied with treatment recommended by the department of corrections.

(b)(1)  Except as provided for in subsections (c) and (e) of this section, the department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency shall release registry information concerning persons required to register under state law if the requestor can articulate a concern about the behavior of a specific person regarding the requestor's personal safety or the safety of another, or the requestor has reason to believe that a specific person may be a registered sex offender or violent offender and can articulate a concern regarding the requestor's personal safety or the safety of another.  However, the identity of a victim of an offense shall not be released.

(2)  The department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency shall release the following registry information if the requestor meets the requirements in subdivision (1) of this subsection:

(A)  a general physical description of the offender;

(B)  date of birth;

(C)  the date and nature of the offense;

(D)  whether the offender complied with treatment recommended by the department of corrections; and

(E)  whether there is an outstanding warrant for the offender's arrest.

(c)  The department, the department of corrections, and any local law enforcement agency authorized to release registry information shall keep a log of requests for registry information and follow the procedure for verification of the requestor's identity recommended by the department.  Such log shall include the requestor's name, address, telephone number, the name of the person for whom the request was made, the reason for the request, and the date of the request.  Information about requestors shall be confidential and shall only be accessible to criminal justice agencies.

(d)  After 10 years have elapsed from the completion of the sentence, a person required to register as a sex offender or violent offender for life pursuant to section 5407 of this title may petition the district court for a termination of notification.  The state shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim of the proceeding, and consider victim testimony regarding the petition.  If the registrant was convicted of a crime which requires lifetime registration, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person is a

high-risk sex offender or violent offender.  Should the registrant present evidence that he or she is not a high-risk offender, the state shall have the burden of proof to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the person remains a high risk to reoffend.  The court shall consider whether the offender has successfully completed sex offender or violent offender treatment.  The court may require the offender to submit to a psychosexual evaluation.  If the court finds that there is a high risk of reoffense, notification shall continue.  The Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to these proceedings.  A registrant may petition the court to be removed from the registry once every 60 months.  The presumption under this section that a lifetime registrant is a high-risk offender shall not automatically subject the offender to increased public access to his or her status as a sex offender or violent offender and related information under subdivision (c)(1)(E) of this section or section 5411a of this title.

Sec. 26.  13 V.S.A. § 5411b is amended to read:

§ 5411B.  DESIGNATION OF HIGH-RISK SEX OFFENDER OR VIOLENT

                 OFFENDER

(a)  The department of corrections may evaluate a sex offender or violent offender for the purpose of determining whether the offender is "high-risk" as defined in section 5401 of this title.  The designation of high-risk under this section is for the purpose of identifying an offender as one who should be subject to increased public access to his or her status as a sex offender or violent offender and related information, including internet access.

(b)  After notice and an opportunity to be heard, a sex offender or violent offender who is designated as high-risk shall have the right to appeal de novo to the superior court in accordance with Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c)  The department of corrections shall adopt rules for the administration of this section.  The department of corrections shall not implement this section prior to the adoption of such rules.

(d)  The department of corrections shall identify those sex offenders and violent offenders under the supervision of the department as of the date of passage of this act who are high-risk and shall designate them as such no later than September 1, 2005.

Sec. 27.  13 V.S.A. § 5412 is amended to read:

§ 5412.  Active community notification by the

               department of public safety, the department of

               corrections, and local law enforcement;

               immunity

(a)  The department, the department of corrections, any authorized local law enforcement agency, and their employees shall be immune from liability in carrying out the provisions under this subchapter except in instances of gross negligence or willful misconduct, provided that the agencies complied with the rules adopted pursuant to this subchapter.

(b)  The department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency are authorized to notify members of the public who are likely to encounter a sex offender who poses a danger under circumstances that are not enumerated in this subchapter.

(c)  Notification of the community beyond those persons likely to encounter a sex offender shall be authorized only under circumstances which constitute a compelling risk to public safety and only after consultation with the Vermont crime information center and the department of corrections.

(d)  Active community notification regarding registered sex offenders who may pose a danger to members of the community is an important public safety tool which the general assembly intends for authorized agencies to use at their discretion in accordance with this subchapter.

Sec. 28.  13 V.S.A. § 5413 is amended to read:

§ 5413.  EXPUNGEMENT OF RECORDS

A person whose conviction of a sex offense or violent offense is reversed and dismissed shall not be required to register for that conviction under the provisions of this subchapter and any information about that conviction contained in the registry shall be removed and destroyed.  If any information about that conviction was provided to any person or agency under subsection 5402(b) of this subchapter, that person or agency shall be notified that the conviction was reversed and shall be required to remove and destroy the information.  If the person whose conviction is reversed and dismissed has more than one entry in the registry, only the entry related to the dismissed case shall be removed and destroyed.

Sec. 29.  13 V.S.A. § 5414 is amended to read:

§ 5414.  PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER AND

               VIOLENT OFFENDER REGISTRATION

The department shall participate in the National Sex Offender Registry Program managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in accordance with guidelines issued by the U.S. Attorney General, including transmission of current address information and other information on registrants to the extent provided by the guidelines.  The department shall also participate in any violent offender registry program which may be managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including transmission of current address information and other information on registrants to the extent provided by federal guidelines.


* * * Violation of Registry Requirements (S.184) * * *

Sec. 30.  Rule 3 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure is amended to read:

Rule 3.  Arrest Without A Warrant; Citation to Appear

* * *

(c)  Nonwitnessed Misdemeanor Offenses.  If an officer has probable cause to believe a person has committed or is committing a misdemeanor outside the presence of the officer, the officer may issue a citation to appear before a judicial officer in lieu of arrest.  The officer may arrest the person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe: 

* * *

(17)  The person is a sex offender or violent offender who has failed to comply with the provisions of subchapter 3 of chapter 167 of Title 13 (sex offender and violent offender registration and notification).

Sec. 31.  13 V.S.A. § 5408 is amended to read:

§ 5408.  RECORD OF ADDRESSES; ARREST WARRANT

(a)  The department shall maintain a record of the addresses of all sex offenders and violent offenders.  The record shall be updated at least every three months. At any time, if the department is unable to verify the whereabouts and address of a sex offender or violent offender subject to this subchapter, it shall immediately notify the local law enforcement agency in writing that the sex offender's or violent offender’s whereabouts are unknown. The department shall also send a copy of the notification to the state's attorney of the county in which the sex offender's or violent offender’s most recent address is located.

(b)  A sex offender’s failure to report a change of address as required by this subchapter shall be grounds to issue a warrant for the arrest of the sex offender and the provisions of Rule 3 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure shall not apply to such an arrest.

Sec. 32.  13 V.S.A. § 5409 is amended to read:

§ 5409.  PENALTIES

(a)  A  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a sex offender or violent offender who knowingly fails to comply with any provision of this subchapter shall:

(1)  Be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.  A sentence imposed under this subdivision shall run consecutively to any sentence being served by the sex offender or violent offender at the time of sentencing.

(2)  For the second or subsequent offense, be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.  A sentence imposed under this subdivision shall run consecutively to any sentence being served by the sex offender or violent offender at the time of sentencing.

(b)  A sex offender or violent offender who knowingly fails to comply with any provision of this subchapter for a period of more than five consecutive days shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.  A sentence imposed under this subsection shall run consecutively to any sentence being served by the sex offender or violent offender at the time of sentencing.

* * * Addresses * * *

Sec. 33.  13 V.S.A. § 5411(c)(3) is added to read:

(3)(A)  The department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency may, at the discretion of an authorized law enforcement officer, release the current address of the offender. 

(B)  For purposes of this subdivision, “authorized law enforcement officer” means a sheriff, a chief of police, the commissioner of public safety, or a designee.  The designee shall be a certified law enforcement officer whose authority is granted or given by the sheriff, chief of police, or commissioner of public safety, either through explicit order or department policy.

* * * Kidnapping With Intent to Commit Sexual Assault;

Registration of Offenders Under Age 18 (S.202) * * *

Sec. 34.  13 V.S.A. § 5401(10) is amended to read:

(10)  “Sex offender” means:

(A)  A person who is convicted in any jurisdiction of the United States, including a state, territory, commonwealth, the District of Columbia, or military, federal, or tribal court of any of the following offenses:

* * *

(v)  second or subsequent conviction for voyeurism as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2638(b) or (c); and

(vi)  kidnapping with intent to commit sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2405(a)(1)(D); and

(vi)(vii)  an attempt to commit any offense listed in this subdivision.

(B)  A person who is convicted of any of the following offenses against a victim who is a minor, except that, for purposes of this subdivision, conduct which is criminal only because of the age of the victim shall not be considered an offense for purposes of the registry if the perpetrator is under the age of 18 and the victim is at least 12 years old:

(i)  any offense listed in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (10);

* * *

* * * High Risk Offender Duty to Report * * *

Sec. 35.  13 V.S.A. § 5407(a)(3) is amended to read:

(3)  within three days after any change of address, or if a person is designated as a high-risk sex offender or high-risk violent offender pursuant to section 5411b of this title, that person shall report to the department within 36 hours;

* * * Community Notification Expansion * * *

Sec. 36.  13 V.S.A. § 5411(c) is amended to read:

§ 5411.  NOTIFICATION TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND

               LOCAL COMMUNITY

* * *

(c)(1)  Except as provided for in subsection (e) of this section, upon request of a member of the public about a specific person, the department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency shall release registry information on the following registrants: sex offenders and violent offenders whose information is required to be posted on the internet in accordance with section 5411a of this title.

(A)  Sex offenders who have been convicted of section 3253 of this title (aggravated sexual assault), subdivision 2405(a)(1)(D) of this title if a registrable offense (kidnapping and sexual assault of a child), or 33 V.S.A. § 6913(d)(sexual activity with a vulnerable adult).

(B)  Sex offenders who have at least one prior conviction for an offense described in subdivision 5401(10) of this subchapter or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction.

(C)  Sex offenders who have failed to comply with sex offender registration requirements and for whose arrest there is an outstanding warrant for such noncompliance.

(D)  Sex offenders who have been designated as sexual predators pursuant to section 5405 of this title.

(E)  Sex offenders who have been designated by the department of corrections, pursuant to section 5411b of this title, as high risk.

(2)  The department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency shall release the following registry information to a requestor in accordance with subdivision (1) of this subsection:

(A)  the offender's known aliases;

(B)  the offender's date of birth;

(C)  a general physical description of the offender;

(D)  the offender's town of residence;

(E)  the date and nature of the offender's conviction;

(F)  if the offender is under the supervision of the department of corrections, the name and telephone number of the local department of corrections office in charge of monitoring the offender;

(G)  whether the offender complied with treatment recommended by the department of corrections;

(H)  whether there is an outstanding warrant for the offender's arrest; and

(I)  the reason for which the offender information is accessible under subdivision (1) of this subsection.

Sec. 37.  13 V.S.A. § 5411c is added to read:

§ 5411c.  Active community notification by the

                department of public safety, the department of

                corrections, and local law enforcement

(a)  Notwithstanding other provisions to the contrary, the department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency are authorized to notify members of the public at their discretion about any sex offender or violent offender whose information is required to be posted on the internet in accordance with section 5411a of this title.

(b)  The department, the department of corrections, and any authorized local law enforcement agency are authorized to notify members of the public at their discretion about a sex offender or violent offender whose information is not required to be posted on the internet in accordance with section 5411a of this title only under circumstances which constitute a compelling risk to public safety and only after consultation with the Vermont crime information center and the department of corrections.

(c)  Active community notification regarding registered sex offenders and violent offenders who may pose a danger to members of the community is an important public safety tool which the general assembly intends for authorized agencies to use at their discretion in accordance with this subchapter.

* * * Internet Registry; Expansion and Repeat Offenders;

Removal of Log-In Requirement * * *

Sec. 38.  13 V.S.A. § 5411a is amended to read:

§ 5411A.  ELECTRONIC POSTING OF THE SEX OFFENDER AND

                 VIOLENT OFFENDER REGISTRY

(a)  Notwithstanding sections 2056a-2056e of Title 20, the department shall electronically post information on the internet in accordance with subsection (b) of this section regarding the following sex offenders and violent offenders, upon their release from confinement:

(1)  Sex offenders who have been convicted of a violation of section 3253 of this title (aggravated sexual assault), section 2602 of this title (lewd or lascivious conduct with child), or subdivision 2405(a)(1)(D) of this title if a registrable offense (kidnapping and sexual assault of a child).

(2)  Violent offenders who have been convicted of a violation of section 2301 of this title (murder), section 2311 of this title (aggravated murder), section 501 of this title (arson causing death).

(2)(3)  Sex offenders who are convicted of a violation of section 3252 (sexual assault) or 2602 (lewd or lascivious conduct with child) of this title, and who have a prior conviction of a violation of section 3252 (sexual assault) or 2602 (lewd or lascivious conduct with child) of this title. Comparable offenses in another jurisdiction shall be included in this subsection who have at least one prior conviction for an offense described in subdivision 5401(10) of this subchapter.

(3)(4)  Sex offenders or violent offenders who have failed to comply with sex offender or violent offender registration requirements and for whose arrest there is an outstanding warrant for such noncompliance.  Information on offenders shall remain on the internet only while the warrant is outstanding.

(4)(5)  Sex offenders or violent offenders who have been designated as sexual predators or violent predators pursuant to section 5405 of this title.

(5)(6)  Sex offenders or violent offenders who have not complied with sex offender or violent offender treatment recommended by the department of corrections or who are ineligible for sex offender or violent offender treatment. The department of corrections shall establish rules for the administration of this subdivision and shall specify what circumstances constitute noncompliance with treatment and criteria for ineligibility to participate in treatment.  Offenders subject to this provision shall have the right to appeal the department of corrections' determination in superior court in accordance with Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.  This subdivision shall apply prospectively and shall not apply to those sex offenders or violent offenders who did not comply with treatment or were ineligible for treatment prior to March 1, 2005.

(6)(7)  Sex offenders or violent offenders who have been designated by the department of corrections, pursuant to section 5411b of this title, as

high-risk.

(b)  The department shall electronically post the following information on sex offenders or violent offenders designated in subsection (a) of this section:

(1)  the offender's name and any known aliases;

(2)  the offender's date of birth;

(3)  a general physical description of the offender;

(4)  a digital photograph of the offender;

(5)  the offender's town of residence;

(6)  the date and nature of the offender's conviction;

(7)  if the offender is under the supervision of the department of corrections, the name and telephone number of the local department of corrections office in charge of monitoring the sex offender or violent offender;

(8)  whether the offender complied with treatment recommended by the department of corrections;

(9)  a statement that there is an outstanding warrant for the offender's arrest, if applicable; and

(10)  the reason for which the offender information is accessible under this section.

(c)  The department shall have the authority to take necessary steps to obtain digital photographs of offenders whose information is required to be posted on the internet and to update photographs as necessary.  An offender who is requested by the department to report to the department or a local law enforcement agency for the purpose of being photographed for the internet shall comply with the request within 30 days.

(d)  An offender's street address shall not be posted electronically.  The identity of a victim of an offense that requires registration shall not be released.

(e)  Information regarding a sex offender shall not be posted electronically if the conduct that is the basis for the offense is criminal only because of the age of the victim and the perpetrator is within 38 months of age of the victim.

(f)  Information regarding a sex offender shall not be posted electronically prior to the offender reaching the age of 18, but such information shall be otherwise available pursuant to section 5411 of this title.

(g)  Information on sex offenders and violent offenders shall be posted on the internet for the duration of time for which they are subject to notification requirements under section 5401 et seq. of this title.

(h)  Posting of the information shall include the following language:  "This information is made available for the purpose of complying with 13 V.S.A.

§ 5401 et seq., which requires the Department of Public Safety to establish and maintain a registry of persons who are required to register as sex offenders or violent offenders and to post electronically information on sex offenders and violent offenders.  The registry is based on the legislature's decision to facilitate access to publicly available information about persons convicted of sexual offenses.  EXCEPT FOR OFFENDERS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED ON THIS SITE AS HIGH-RISK, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY HAS NOT CONSIDERED OR ASSESSED THE SPECIFIC RISK OF REOFFENSE WITH REGARD TO ANY INDIVIDUAL PRIOR TO HIS OR HER INCLUSION WITHIN THIS REGISTRY AND HAS MADE NO DETERMINATION THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL INCLUDED IN THE REGISTRY IS CURRENTLY DANGEROUS. THE MAIN PURPOSE OF PROVIDING THIS DATA ON THE INTERNET IS TO MAKE INFORMATION MORE EASILY AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE, NOT TO WARN ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL.  If you have questions or concerns about a person who is not listed on this site or you have questions about sex offender information listed on this site, please contact the Department of Public Safety or your local law enforcement agency. Please be aware that many nonoffenders share a name with a registered sex offender.  IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT A PERSON WHO IS NOT LISTED ON THIS SITE OR YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT SEX OFFENDER OR VIOLENT OFFENDER INFORMATION LISTED ON THIS SITE, PLEASE CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY OR YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.  PLEASE BE AWARE THAT MANY NONOFFENDERS SHARE A NAME WITH A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER OR VIOLENT OFFENDER.  Any person who uses information in this registry to injure, harass, or commit a criminal offense against any person included in the registry or any other person is subject to criminal prosecution."

(i)  The department shall post electronically general information about the sex offender and violent offender registry and how the public may access registry information.  Electronically posted information regarding sex offenders or violent offenders listed in subsection (a) of this section shall be organized and available to search by the sex offender's or violent offender’s name and the sex offender's or violent offender’s county of residence.

(j)  Any member of the public who seeks to access information on specific sex offenders on the sex offender website shall register on the website. Registration information about site users shall not be public. The website shall require the person's name and address and shall require the person to acknowledge that he or she has read the following disclaimer: "THE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REGARDING A REGISTERED USER OF THIS SITE IS MAINTAINED PURSUANT TO LAW AND IS CONFIDENTIAL AND NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC DISCLOSURE. THE INFORMATION IS COLLECTED TO IDENTIFY A PATTERN OR PRACTICE OF MISUSE OF SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION INFORMATION SUCH AS THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME AGAINST A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER OR ANY ATTEMPT TO PORTRAY FALSELY AN INDIVIDUAL AS A SEX OFFENDER. USING AND SHARING SEX OFFENDER INFORMATION RESPONSIBLY TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY, AND YOUR COMMUNITY IS NOT A PATTERN OR PRACTICE OF MISUSE."

(k)  The department shall adopt rules for the administration of this section and shall expedite the process for the adoption of such rules.  The department shall not implement this section prior to the adoption of such rules.

(l)(j)  If a sex offender's or violent offender’s information is required to be posted electronically pursuant to subdivision (a)(2) of this section, the department shall list the offender's convictions for any crime listed in subdivision 5401(10) of this title, regardless of the date of the conviction or whether the offender was required to register as a sex offender or violent offender based upon that conviction.


* * * Approval of Residence * * *

Sec. 39.  28 V.S.A. § 710 is added to read:

§ 710.  APPROVAL OF RESIDENCE

(a)  Before approving a residence for a sex offender who is being released from confinement or whom the court has released on a probationary sentence or an alternative sentence under community supervision by the department, the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall give careful consideration to the proximity of the residence to any risk group associated with the offender.

(b)  For purposes of this section, “sex offender” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 5401(10)(B) of Title 13.

* * * Rules of Evidence in Sex Offender Cases * * *

Sec. 40.  Rule 413 of the Vermont Rules of Evidence is added to read:

RULE 413.  EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR CRIMES IN SEXUAL ASSAULT

                    CASES

(a)  In a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of an offense of sexual assault, evidence of the defendant's commission of another offense or offenses of sexual assault is admissible and may be considered for its bearing on any matter to which it is relevant.

(b)  In a case in which the state intends to offer evidence under this rule, the prosecutor disclose the evidence to the defendant, including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of any testimony that is expected to be offered, at least fifteen days before the scheduled date of trial or at such later time as the court may allow for good cause.

(c)  This rule shall not be construed to limit the admission or consideration of evidence under any other rule.

(d)  For purposes of this rule and Rule 415, "offense of sexual assault" means:

(1)  lewd and lascivious conduct in violation of section 2601 of this title;

(2)  lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in violation of section 2602 of this title;

(3)  sexual assault in violation of section 3252 of this title; or

(4)  aggravated sexual assault in violation of section 3253 of this title;

Sec. 41.  Rule 414 of the Vermont Rules of Evidence is added to read:

RULE 414.  EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR CRIMES IN CHILD

                     MOLESTATION CASES

(a)  In a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of an offense of child molestation, evidence of the defendant's commission of another offense or offenses of child molestation is admissible, and may be considered for its bearing on any matter to which it is relevant.

(b)  In a case in which the state intends to offer evidence under this rule, the prosecutor shall disclose the evidence to the defendant, including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of any testimony that is expected to be offered, at least fifteen days before the scheduled date of trial or at such later time as the court may allow for good cause.

(c)  This rule shall not be construed to limit the admission or consideration of evidence under any other rule.

(d)  For purposes of this rule and Rule 415, "child" means a person below the age of fourteen, and "offense of child molestation" means:

(1)  lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in violation of section 2602 of this title;

(2)  sexual assault with a child in violation of section 3252 of this title; or

(3)  aggravated sexual assault in violation of section 3253 of this title;

Sec. 42.  Rule 415 of the Vermont Rules of Evidence is added to read:

RULE 415.  EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR ACTS IN CIVIL CASES

                    CONCERNING SEXUAL ASSAULT OR CHILD

                    MOLESTATION

(a)  In a civil case in which a claim for damages or other relief is predicated on a party's alleged commission of conduct constituting an offense of sexual assault or child molestation, evidence of that party's commission of another offense or offenses of sexual assault or child molestation is admissible and may be considered as provided in Rule 41 and Rule 414 of these rules.

(b)  A party who intends to offer evidence under this Rule shall disclose the evidence to the party against whom it will be offered, including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of any testimony that is expected to be offered, at least fifteen days before the scheduled date of trial or at such later time as the court may allow for good cause.

(c)  This rule shall not be construed to limit the admission or consideration of evidence under any other rule.

* * * Appropriations; Positions Created * * *

Sec. 43.  APPROPRIATIONS

(a)(1)  The amount of $130,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2007 to the University of Vermont to support implementation of “The Vermont Approach:  A Strategic Plan for Sexual Violence Prevention,” produced by the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence, the Vermont department of health, and the anti-violence partnership at the University of Vermont.  The funds appropriated under this subsection shall be used to hire a coordinator and to support the statewide project safe choices program, with the goal of beginning a statewide, collaborative, comprehensive approach to ending sexual violence in our communities.

(2)  The General Assembly encourages and authorizes the acceptance of contributions on a matching or any other basis from non-state sources for the purposes of this subsection, but the amount appropriated by this subsection is not conditioned on the receipt of such contributions.

(b)(1)  The amount of $363,000.00 is appropriated in fiscal year 2007 from the general fund to the department of state’s attorneys to fund specialized investigative unit grants awarded by the specialized investigative unit grants board under section 1940 of Title 24.

(2)  Any amounts appropriated by this section not expended in fiscal year 2007 shall not revert but shall be carried forward for expenditure for specialized investigative unit grants in fiscal year 2008.

(c)(1)  $80,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of corrections for purposes of funding the pre-sentence investigations authorized by section 204a of Title 28.

(2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the unused balance of the $50,000.00 appropriation made to the department of corrections pursuant to Sec. 11 of No. 79 of the Acts of 2005 shall be used by the department of sheriff’s and state’s attorneys for the purpose of funding the psycho-sexual evaluations authorized by section 204a of Title 28.

(3)  The appropriations under this subsection shall be used only for the purposes defined in this subsection, and any unexpended balance of this appropriation shall carry forward and not be reverted to the general fund.  The department of corrections shall include in its annual budget proposal for fiscal year 2007 and thereafter an allocation to fund these investigations.  The annual allocation shall be estimated based on the need for such investigations experienced in the current and previous two fiscal years.

(d)  $190,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund for purposes of funding the global positioning system pilot program established by section 14 of this act.

(e)  $100,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the judiciary for purposes of funding salary, benefits and operating expenses associated with the position of executive director of the Vermont sentencing commission created by subsection (a) of section 43 of this act.  

(f)  $5,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the judiciary for purposes of funding the per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses authorized by subsection 5451(f) of Title 13 for members of  the Vermont sentencing commission. 

Sec. 44.  POSITION CREATED

There is created within the judiciary one permanent position entitled executive director of the Vermont sentencing commission.  The executive director shall provide professional and administrative support to the Vermont sentencing commission established by section 5451 of Title 13, and shall provide any other assistance necessary for the commission to satisfy its statutory duties.


Sec. 45.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us