United States v. Hawkins, No. 18-1330 (D.C. 2021)
Nature of Case: Appellee pled guilty in 2018 to one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child. Because Appellee had already been convicted of misdemeanor sexual abuse of another child two years prior, the government argued that the court should certify him as a sex offender subject to lifetime registration pursuant to the District’s Sex Offender Registration Act, D.C. Code §§ 22-4000 et seq. The trial court disagreed with the government’s argument, concluding that the recidivism provisions in the statute required two prior adjudications of guilt and sentencing, not including the instant offense. For that reason, the trial court imposed a ten-year registration requirement on Mr. Hawkins. The government appealed.
Holding: The D.C. Court of Appeals agreed with the government’s argument and reversed the decision of the trial court. In so holding, the Court concluded that the “two or more” requirement in D.C. Code § 22-4002(b)(3) and (4) applies to individuals upon their second qualifying disposition, inclusive of the instant disposition.