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Connor v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

May 27, 2015

DONALD CONNOR, JR.
v.
STATE of MARYLAND

Krauser, C.J. Woodward, Sharer, J. Frederick (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.

OPINION

Sharer, J.

Following his conviction in 1997 for sexual child abuse, Donald Connor, Jr., was required to register as a sex offender, pursuant to Maryland's sex offender registration statute ("MSORA").

Having failed on several occasions to comply with registration requirements, he was charged and convicted in 2001, in 2004, and in 2007. After the State again charged Connor with failing to register in 2010, he moved to dismiss, asserting that his ten-year registration requirement had expired, and that further prosecutions were barred by ex post facto considerations. The State did not respond to Connor's motion.

On September 10, 2012, at a hearing in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Reed, J.), Connor's motion was denied. Then, on an agreed statement of facts, he was convicted of failing to register, pursuant to Md. Code Ann. (2001) Criminal Procedure ("C.P.") § 11-721(a).

In his appeal, Connor presents the following question, which we have recast:

Was his conviction for failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements in violation of federal and State ex post facto laws prohibitions?

FACTUAL BACKGROUND and PROCEEDINGS BELOW

The facts underlying Connor's sexual abuse conviction and subsequent convictions for failure to register are not in dispute.

On July 23, 1997, after Connor's guilty plea to one count of child sexual abuse, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Cannon, J.) imposed a sentence of two years' incarceration. At that time, Art. 27, § 792 required Connor, inter alia, to register as a sex offender upon his release from incarceration, to re-register on a regular basis for a period of ten years, and to provide prompt notification of changes in his address. See Md. Code Ann. Art. 27, § 792 (1957, 1996 Repl. Vol., 1997 Supp.).[1] Connor was released from commitment on April 25, 1999.

On March 23, 2001, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Dancy, J.), Connor entered a guilty plea to a violation of Art. 27, § 792 – failing to notify the sex offender registry's local authority of a change in his address. The court sentenced Connor to a three-year term of incarceration, suspending all but two years, eight months and 10 days, and placed Connor on probation for three years.

On September 24, 2004, Connor again entered a guilty plea to a charge of failing to register. The Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Themelis, J.) sentenced him to a nine-month term of incarceration.

On November 21, 2007, following Connor's guilty plea to a charge of failing to register, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Glynn, J.), imposed a one-year term of incarceration.

In 2010, Connor re-registered, giving as his address 418 East Lanvale Street, in Baltimore City. When Baltimore City police attempted to verify that information, they found the property to be vacant. Because Connor's actual residence was unknown, a warrant was issued for his arrest. After being located by Baltimore police in April 2012, he was again charged with ...


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