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OH Court Nixes Conviction in Registration Case

October 13, 2009

daytondailynews.com : Court nixes conviction in sex registration case.

Cincinnati, OH — A federal appeals court has tossed out an Ohio man’s conviction for failing to update his registration as a sex offender. The court in Cincinnati says he was indicted based on a regulation that wasn’t ready yet.

In a 2-to-1 decision, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered that the indictment against Marcus Cain be dismissed.

Cain was convicted of attempted rape in 1998. The court says Cain’s indictment for failing to register with authorities after moving from Ohio to Georgia covered a period that ended in March 2007. But that was while the government was still gathering comments on a regulation for applying a new federal registration to sex offenders convicted before July 2006.

Decision here: USA v. Marcus Cain – Northern District of Ohio at Akron

SORNA requires the Attorney General to issue regulations specifying its application before a sex offender convicted before its enactment may be subjected to criminal prosecution for failure to keep his registration current. Because the Attorney General did not issue such a regulation in compliance with the notice and comment and publication requirements of the APA within the time period charged in Cain’s indictment, the indictment must be dismissed. We therefore vacate Cain’s conviction and remand to the district court with instructions to grant the motion to dismiss the indictment.”

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