A.R. v. State
A.R. was ordered to register as a sex offender for an offense that occurred when he was 13. Indiana law requires that, before a young person can be subject to sex offender registration, the State prove by clear and convincing evidence that they are likely to commit another sex offense.
Juvenile Law Center and the Gault Center filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals of Indiana in support of A.R., arguing that youth adjudicated for sexual offenses have exceptionally low recidivism rates, which makes it nearly impossible for the State to meet its burden of proof. We further argued that the state’s use of adult psychosexual risk assessments was inappropriate and did not provide sufficient evidence that A.R. is likely to commit a future sexual offense, that the discretionary registration standard is vulnerable to racial bias, and that registering youth as sex offenders has devastating consequences and contravenes the U.S. Supreme Court’s recognition that youth are less culpable and are amenable to rehabilitation.
The Court of Appeals of Indiana denied relief, finding that the juvenile court’s determination that A.R. must register was supported by clear and convincing evidence. The Court further held that A.R.’s constitutional claims are waived, as they were not raised before the juvenile court.
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