Argued: 5 /4 /16
Court of Wicomico County, Maryland Criminal Case No.
Barbera, C.J., Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, Hotten,
Battaglia, Lynne A. (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.
case concerns a condition of probation that impinges upon a
defendant's fundamental due process right to parent his
child. Troy Robert Allen ("Petitioner") was
convicted after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for
Wicomico County ("circuit court") of sexual abuse
of a minor household member, § 3-602(b)(2) of the Md.
Code (2002, Repl. Vol. 2012), Criminal Law Article
("Crim. Law"), two counts of third degree sex
offense, Crim. Law § 3-307, three counts of second
degree assault, Crim. Law § 3-203, and one count of
fourth degree sex offense, Crim. Law § 3-308(b)(1).
Pursuant to Petitioner's Motion for a New Trial, one of
the convictions for third degree sex offense was stricken in
favor of a finding of not guilty.
was sentenced to twenty-five years' imprisonment (all but
five years suspended) for sexual abuse of a minor, and
twenty-one years' imprisonment (all suspended) for the
remaining offenses, to run consecutively. Petitioner was also
required to serve five years of supervised probation upon his
release, with the condition that he have no unsupervised
contact with minors. Petitioner appealed to the Court of
Special Appeals, arguing, inter alia, that the
circuit court erroneously prohibited unsupervised contact
with his minor son during the probationary period. The Court
of Special Appeals, in an unreported opinion, Troy Robert
Allen v. State of Maryland, No. 0617, September Term,
2014, (October 7, 2015), held that the condition of probation
was "sufficiently related" to the "sexual
assault of a child residing in [Petitioner's] household[,
]" and affirmed the judgments of the circuit court. This
Court granted a Writ of Certiorari to determine whether the
circuit court erred by imposing the no-unsupervised-contact
with minors condition. For the reasons that follow, we shall
affirm the judgments of the Court of Special Appeals.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
dating for several months in 2012, Petitioner and his
then-girlfriend ("Marisa") began sharing a home in
Salisbury, Maryland. At the time Petitioner and Marisa moved
in together, Marisa had shared custody of her ten-year-old
daughter from a prior relationship
("B."). In March 2013, Petitioner and Marisa had a
son ("F."), who resided in the home along with B.
evidence at trial revealed several instances of B.'s
sexual abuse at the hands of Petitioner while B. was a member
of his household during 2012-2013:
such occasion, B. and Petitioner were sitting on the couches
in the living room of their home when B. noticed that
Petitioner's penis was protruding from the waistband of
his shorts. After Petitioner noticed that B. had seen
his penis, Petitioner wrote "[d]id you see it?" on
a piece of paper, which he later crumpled up. On a later
occasion, B. was again sitting on a couch in the living room
with Petitioner seated next to her, when Petitioner exposed
his penis and asked her "to touch it[.]" When. B.
refused, Petitioner placed the tip of his penis on her left
forearm. During both of these incidents, Marisa was not
present in the living room, but was elsewhere in the home. B.
did not inform Marisa at the time, because she was fearful
that Petitioner would become angry.
evidence at trial also revealed that, on two occasions,
Petitioner squeezed the nipple area of B.'s chest. During
the first incident, Marisa, Petitioner and B. were grocery
shopping, and Petitioner and B. were "horse
playing" when Petitioner twisted B.'s nipple. B.
informed Marisa that "[Petitioner] just pinched my
boob[, ]" and Marisa confronted Petitioner by
telling him: "don't ever touch her there
again." Petitioner responded that he was sorry, but
shortly thereafter told B. that "he was going to put his
thing in [her] thing." On the second occasion, B. and
Petitioner were alone in the kitchen of the residence and
Petitioner "turned [B.] and then twisted [her]
boob." Marisa was located elsewhere in the home during
this later incident, and B. did not inform her of the abuse
at the time.
August 1, 2013, Marisa asked Petitioner to leave their shared
home in Salisbury, and on August 4, 2013, B. spoke with
police regarding the aforementioned abuse. On that same date,
Marisa text messaged Petitioner concerning B.'s
allegations, and Petitioner responded that "I will not
go down like this, I won't have that label on me when I
know it will go away." Petitioner further stated that
"he would take his life and that he was leaving town and
going to get a bus ticket."
preparation for Petitioner's sentencing hearing, a
psychologist employed with the Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene ("DHMH") prepared a mental health
assessment, and the Department of Parole and Probation
prepared a pre-sentence investigation.
The mental health assessment
on a two-and-a-half hour interview with Petitioner, along
with the consideration of several documents, a licensed
psychologist working with DHMH made several findings
regarding Petitioner's account of the instant offense,
Petitioner's background, and Petitioner's mental
status. The psychologist also performed a structured risk
assessment, and rendered conclusions and recommendations.
Petitioner's account of the instant offense, the
psychologist noted that Petitioner "was very guarded and
superficial in his discussion and had to be redirected to
describe the events." According to the assessment,
Petitioner stated that the occasions B. had seen his penis
were "inadvertent" and "not purposeful."
Petitioner remarked that "when he sat on the couch he
slouched so that his shorts or pants went low on his hips and
that he put his hands in the waistband of his pants."
Petitioner stated his belief that "everyone sits like
that[, ]" and as a result, B. was able to view the tip
of his penis. Petitioner reported that the incident at the
grocery store was simply horseplay where he "was
pinching" and "accidently got her chest."
Petitioner reported that he was upset about the charges
against him, and opined that "he does not believe that
his crime is a sex offense."
Petitioner's background, he reported to the psychologist
that "his sexual fantasies and behavior have always been
heterosexual" and "[h]e denied any sexual
behavior or fantasies involving men." Petitioner
reported that, after he graduated high school and moved to
North Carolina, he began "'talking with girls'
via text over the phone." According to Petitioner, these
girls would send him pictures and he "got into a porn
addiction[, ]" where he would use online dating sites to
trade sexually explicit photos with "freakier
girls." Petitioner informed the psychologist that he
moved to Maryland in an attempt to stop this behavior, but
began "engaging in the … phone exchanges"
when "his relationship with his girlfriend [(Marisa)]
worsened." The psychologist noted that, in an interview
with police, Petitioner acknowledged using an internet chat
room to exchange pictures with girls who were 15 and 16 years
old. Petitioner stated "that his exhibitionist behavior
and fantasies all involved texts and phone messages, and
denied exhibitionism in person." According to the
psychologist, Petitioner "normalized his behavior"
and his "level of insight was poor."
Petitioner's mental status, Petitioner was diagnosed with
"[e]xhibitionist [d]isorder – pre-pubertal child
victim" and "sexual abuse of a child –
Exhibitionist disorder is diagnosed when an individual
obtains recurrent and intense sexual arousal from the
exposure of genitals to an unsuspecting person and has acted
on these urges with a non-consenting person. Through his
behavior on the internet and by texting, [Petitioner] gained
arousal and sexual satisfaction including ejaculation through
sending pictures of himself to others. In the instant case he
furthered this behavior by exposing himself to an
unsuspecting and non-consenting person, the pre-pubertal
risk assessment revealed that Petitioner exhibited a moderate
risk of engaging in further acts of sexual violence. Using an
actuarial assessment tool for quantifying the risk of sexual
violence, the psychologist concluded that Petitioner was in
the 78th percentile among adult male sexual offenders, with
the 100th percentile being the most likely to reoffend. As a
result, Petitioner's "risk of sexual re-offending,
relative to other sex offenders, [was] estimated at being
almost twice that of other sex offenders." The
assessment noted that "[r]isk factors for re-offending
in [Petitioner's] case include his young age, history of
repetitive problematic sexual behavior, and his lack of
awareness of the potential impact of his behavior on a very
young victim." The assessment's conclusion remarked
that "[Petitioner] has a history of engaging in sexual
behavior with young adolescents[, ]" and "his lack
of caution and inhibition in engaging in sexualized behavior
in front of girls under 18 is problematic."
The pre-sentence investigation
pre-sentence investigation revealed that, as of March 31,
2014, Petitioner also had pending charges in Worcester
County, Maryland for sexual abuse of a minor household
member, sexual abuse of minor, and two counts of indecent
exposure. The Worcester County case involved B. and another
ten-year-old female. The pre-sentence investigation
recommended that Petitioner be sentenced according to the
Maryland sentencing guidelines, and, inter alia,
"have no contact with the victim or her family, "
and "have no unsupervised contact with minor
The sentencing hearing
Petitioner's sentencing hearing, the State of Maryland
("State") sought twenty-five years'
incarceration (all but eight suspended) for the sexual abuse
of a minor, consecutive suspended sentences on all remaining
counts, and five years of supervised probation upon
Petitioner's release. Among the conditions of probation
requested by the State was that Petitioner have no contact
with B., and "[n]o unsupervised contact with
minors." Petitioner's counsel objected to the
[PETITIONER'S COUNSEL]: … Now, one of the problems
is the unsupervised contact with minors….
[H]e has his own son, [F.] Obviously, he needs to see him,
should have contact with his son. And I think that the Court,
any Court Order would need to be a little more fine ...