First District Appellate Court Holds Sora Survives Constitutional Challenge From Unfit Defendant

The defendant in this case was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, was found unfit and remains unfit after a discharge hearing where the defendant was found not “not guilty”.

The trial court originally was reluctant to order registration pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). After the appellate court ordered the trial court to enter a SORA order despite the defendant’s unfitness, the trial court entered the order and the defendant appealed. The appeal was a constitutional challenge facially and as applied.

The appellate court held that the law of the case doctrine did not bar this challenge and that the defendant had standing to challenge the statute. The Court held that this system of registration is not punitive in nature despite the greater restrictions he faces since the statute was first enacted.

The appellate court found that this statute has a rational basis and did not find any as applied (based on mental disability) challenge to be appropriate.

The case is People v. Juan Rodriguez; 2018 IL App (1st) 151938.

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