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People v. Williamson.

2021 COA 77. No. 19CA0879. Sexually Violent Predator—Sexually Violent Predator Assessment Screening Instrument—Due Process—Prior Sex Offense Conviction—Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

June 3, 2021


Defendant pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and was given probation. While on probation, defendant communicated in a sexually explicit manner via social media with an undercover police detective who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. Defendant pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child. Defendant was evaluated under a Sexually Violent Predator Assessment Screening Instrument (SVPASI) and met the criteria for designation as a sexually violent predator (SVP) under Part 3A based on his prior sexual offense. The district court considered the SVPASI, among other factors, and designated defendant as an SVP.

On appeal, defendant argued that the district court erred by relying on Part 3A of the SVPASI to designate him an SVP and violated his right to due process. Here, the SVPASI met the relevant statutory requirements, and the district court did not err by deferring to the evaluator’s recommendation under Part 3A. Further, a prior sex offense conviction is not too speculative to support the district court’s findings and conclusions regarding potential recidivism. Therefore, there was no due process violation.

Defendant further argued that even if the district court’s designation was proper, SVP designation violates constitutional prohibitions on imposing cruel and unusual punishments. However, the SVP designation is not punishment; its purpose is to protect the community through notification and registration requirements. Because an SVP designation is not a punishment, constitutional provisions prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments do not apply.

The order was affirmed.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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