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The People v. Ronaldo Braz Brandao

February 8, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALDO BRAZ BRANDAO, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



Trial Judge: Honorable Julie Conger Trial Court: Sonoma County Superior Court (Sonoma County Super. Ct. No. SCR535024)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kline, P.J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Appellant Ronaldo Braz Brandao was convicted, pursuant to a plea agreement, of misdemeanor annoying and molesting a child under Penal Code, section 647.6, subdivision (a). On appeal, he contends the requirement that he register for life as a sex offender as a result of this conviction violates his right to equal protection of the laws. (See People v. Hofsheier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185 (Hofsheier).) We shall affirm the judgment.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Appellant was charged in a misdemeanor complaint in Sonoma County Superior Court with three counts of annoying and molesting a child (Pen. Code, § 647.6, subd. (a)).*fn1 Each count involved a separate alleged victim. Subsequently, the prosecutor amended the complaint to strike two of the counts, and appellant pleaded no contest as to one of the alleged victims, "Jane Doe 2." His plea anticipated that he would be placed on three years probation, on condition, inter alia, that he complete a counseling program and register as a sex offender pursuant to section 290.

On September 21, 2010, the trial court placed appellant on three years of formal probation. The court authorized appellant to reside in Oregon and ordered him to "comply with all sex offender requirements in the state in which you reside."

On October 12, 2010, appellant filed a notice of appeal in the Sonoma County Superior Court, Appellate Division. In his appeal, appellant challenged the order that he register as a sex offender on equal protection grounds. On May 11, 2011, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's registration order.

On June 1, 2011, we granted appellant's petition to transfer the case from the Appellate Division to this court.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND*fn2

In January 2008, appellant, a native of Brazil, was 37 years old and was the girls' varsity soccer coach at a high school in Sonoma. The 15-year-old victim, Jane Doe 2, was a member of the soccer team.

Jane Doe 2 reported numerous text messages from appellant, which she had saved. The text messages read as follows:*fn3 " 'Hi Love?'; 'Some brazilian that love u!'; 'don't u know any brazilian in love whit u?'; 'Are u sure?'; 'Do u believe in my heart?'; 'Can u keep it as secret'; 'Ok this is ur love coach'; 'Hi do u believe me'; 'Ok this UR love coach'; 'read the msg and answer to my heart are u at scho'; 'good girl kkk'; 'can I call u'; 'Hi'; 'Hi how is yours 2008 so far?'; 'Ok could be better'; 'Well can't explain'; 'Yes I do have'; 'can you keep it as a secret our secret'; 'The are a reason u are the reason'; 'I missing you'; 'U know u are my true love don't u?'; 'Cause u ara BBG and I cant control heart'; BOA! Bonita! Gostosa in Portuguese'; 'Secret and. Don't be mad if u don't like it means BOA-hot BONITA-beautiful GOSTOSA-hot please don't tell to any body' and 'Sorry I did write wrong word what did I?' "

Two other girls on the soccer team, ages 16 and 17, had similar interactions with appellant that made them uncomfortable.

Appellant told police he was joking when he sent the text messages and did not mean to hurt or take advantage of Jane Doe 2. He also acknowledged, however, that he should not have sent ...


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