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Posted by: Landry Butler on Apr 24, 2017

Head Comment: CORRECTED: corrections were made on the following pages: 1, 2, 3, 7 & 8

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Benjamin C. Mayo, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Joe H. Byrd, Jr. and Jennifer D. Free, Jackson, Tennessee, and Crews Townsend and David M. Barnes, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellee, Walter Townsend.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

After groping his twenty-five-year-old neighbor's crotch, eighty-two-year-old Walter Townsend, the Defendant, entered a plea of nolo contendere to the offense of sexual battery, a Class E felony. The trial court placed the Defendant on judicial diversion pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-313, and deferred prosecution for a period of eighteen months of supervised probation. Significantly, the trial court did not require the Defendant to register as a sexual offender under the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004 (the “Act”), pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated sections 40-39-201 to -218. In this State appeal, the sole issue presented for our review is whether the trial court abused its discretion by not ordering the Defendant to register as a sexual offender. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.