Sex Crime Suspect Wins, Loses, Wins


When he was 18 years old Steven Lloyd Mosley of Anaheim did something
with a 12-year-old girl that may have involved kisses near a residential
pool or forceful intercourse in a garage or both, according to court records.

After the June 2003
incident, an Orange County jury refused to find Mosley guilty of
committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14. Instead, they
found him guilty only of misdemeanor assault.

Despite that
verdict Superior Court Judge David A. Hoffer took the unusual step of
punishing Mosley as if he'd been found guilty of a sex crime. Hoffer, a former assistant United States Attorney,
made him register publicly as a sexual predator. Registration also prohibited him from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather. 

This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana overturned Hoffer's ground-breaking decision.

court's imposition of sex offender registration for misdemeanor assault
effectively increased the penalty beyond the statutory maximum,” wrote
Justice Raymond Ikola on behalf of a panel that included Kathleen O'Leary and Eileen Moore.
“Discretionary sex offender registration entailing the residency
restriction cannot be imposed upon a defendant on the basis of facts not
found beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury.”

Hoffer's attempt at judicial activism fails.

–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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