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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on May 23, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Brooke K. Schiferle, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark Gywn, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Attorneys 2:

Carl Roberts, Jr., Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ronald Miller.

Judge(s): SUSANO

In 2001, Ronald Miller was convicted, in Maryland, of sexually molesting his elevenyear- old niece. When he moved to Tennessee in 2007, he registered with the sex offender registry (SOR). The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation subsequently reclassified him several times. In 2013, the TBI granted Miller’s request to be removed from the SOR. However, in 2014, the General Assembly amended Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-39-207 (2014 & Supp.2017), to require lifetime registration for an offender whose victim was twelve years old or younger. The TBI reinstated Miller on the SOR pursuant to this amendment. Miller appealed to the trial court under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-5-322 (2015 & Supp.2017). The trial court reversed the TBI’s decision, holding that “TBI is bound by the face of the [Maryland] conviction offense, and since no provision of the offense involves a crime against a child ages twelve (12) years or less, the Petitioner does not have to comply with the lifetime registry requirements.” The Maryland statute at the time of the offense provided that “a person may not engage in . . . sexual contact with another without the consent of the other.” We hold that the TBI demonstrated that Miller was convicted of this offense, and that his victim was eleven years old at the time of the offense. Based on our review of the record, we hold that the TBI’s decision was neither arbitrary nor capricious or unsupported by substantial and material evidence. We reverse the trial court’s judgment and hold that Miller must be registered on the SOR for life.