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State v. Tash

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 2

March 27, 2018

STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent,
v.
CORY DANIEL TASH, Appellant.

          MELNICK, J.

         Following a bench trial, the trial court found Cory Daniel Tash guilty of failure to register as a sex offender. Tash appeals his conviction. He asserts that he was not required to register because RCW 9A.44.130(4)(a)(i)'s registration requirement applies only to those released from custody on a sex or kidnapping offense, and he was released from custody on a Department of Corrections (DOC) violation. Tash also alleges he did not receive notice that he was required to register. Lastly, Tash argues that the sentencing court erred when it failed to consider his ability to pay before imposing legal financial obligations (LFOs). We affirm Tash's conviction and the sentencing court's imposition of LFOs.

         FACTS

         In November 2003, Tash was convicted of indecent liberties with forcible compulsion in Thurston County and was required to register as a sex offender. In 2014, Tash was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender. On December 26, 2014, Tash was released from custody after serving his sentence for failure to register as a sex offender. At that time, Tash signed a sex offender registration requirement form notifying him that he is required to register as a sex offender. The form also notified Tash, "If you change your address within Thurston County, or have been released from custody, you are required to notify the Thurston County Sheriffs Office in person or by mail within three business days." Clerk's Papers (CP) at 57

         On February 8, 2016, Tash was again convicted of failure to register as a sex offender. Tash was released on May 13, 2016, and then incarcerated again following a DOC violation. He was released from custody on June 1, 2016. At that time, he was notified that he must "immediately contact the Sheriffs Office to stay in compliance." CP at 51. Also, on June 3, 2016, an employee of the Thurston County Sherriff s Office left Tash a phone message "INSTRUCTING [TASH] TO SUBMIT A CHANGE OF ADDRESS." CP at 53.

         Tash did not register. On October 6, 2016, the State charged him with felony violation of sex offender registration.

         Tash moved to dismiss the charge, arguing RCW 9A.44.130(4)(a)(i) only requires registration if Tash was in custody as a result of a sex or kidnapping offense. The trial court denied his motion, concluding, "The plain language of the statute requires that individuals required to register as sex offenders must register within three business days of their release from custody regardless of the reason for their detention." CP at 104.

         Following a bench trial, the trial court found Tash guilty of failure to register as a sex offender. The sentencing court imposed as LFOs a $500 crime victim assessment fee, a $100 deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) collection fee, and a $200 court costs fee. Tash appeals.

         ANALYSIS

         I. Failure to Register

         Tash argues that we should reverse his failure to register as a sex offender conviction because the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss when it misconstrued RCW 9A.44.130 regarding the registration requirement and because Tash did not receive notice of his duty to register. We disagree.

         A. RCW9A.44.130

         We review conclusions of law following a motion to dismiss de novo. State v. Garvin, 166 Wn.2d 242, 249, 207 P.3d 1266 (2009). Similarly, statutory interpretation is a question of law that we review de novo. State v. Watson, 146 Wn.2d 947, 954, 51 P.3d 66 (2002). "In interpreting statutory provisions, the primary objective is to ascertain and give effect to the intent and purpose of the Legislature in creating the statute." Watson, 146 Wn.2d at 954. "The court discerns legislative intent from the plain language enacted by the legislature, considering the text of the provision in question, the context of the statute in which the provision is found, related provisions, amendments to the provision, and the statutory scheme as a whole." Fast v. Kennewick Pub. Hosp. Dist., 187 Wn.2d 27, 33, 384 P.3d 232 (2016).

         RCW 9A.44.130(1)(a) requires any person who "has been convicted of any sex offense or kidnapping offense" to "register with the county sheriff for the county of the person's residence." This statute also states, "When a person required to register under this section is in custody of. . . a local jail ... as a result of a sex offense or kidnapping offense, the person shall also register at the time of release from custody." RCW 9A.44.130(1)(a). The registration statute applies retroactively, so changes made following ...


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