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The People v. Tracy Alan Laube

August 22, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. 62093292)

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

P. v. Laube



California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Tracy Alan Laube pleaded no contest to failing to update his annual registration as a sex offender. (Pen. Code, § 290.120, subd. (a).)*fn1 He also admitted allegations he had been convicted of one strike offense in 1987 and five strike offenses in 1992, including four sex crimes, against a single victim. The trial court granted a defense motion to strike five of the six strikes and sentenced defendant to six years in state prison, consisting of the upper term of three years for the failure to register, doubled for the remaining strike.

The People appeal, arguing the trial court abused its discretion in striking the five prior serious felony convictions pursuant to People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497 (Romero). (§ 1238, subd. (a)(10).) But because they have not shown the trial court acted arbitrarily, capriciously, or beyond the bounds of reason, we shall affirm the judgment. (People v. Williams (1998) 17 Cal.4th 148, 162 (Williams); People v. Rodrigues (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1060, 1124 (Rodrigues).)


In 1987 defendant was convicted of armed robbery, a strike offense, when he stole a car from a car dealership sales manager after test driving it.

In 1992 defendant was convicted of five strike offenses committed in a single evening: four counts of forcible oral copulation and one count of burglary, committed for the purpose of gaining entry to commit the sex offenses. These crimes are described in our previous nonpublished opinion in People v. Laube (Nov. 15, 1993, C013049): defendant entered the home of a married, pregnant neighbor and forced her to orally copulate him. Angry that she was not "do[ing] it right," defendant repeatedly pulled the victim by her hair, moved her between the couch and the floor, straddled her chest, pried open her mouth, and threatened to hurt her, her son, and her unborn child if she failed to "satisfy him." As a result of these convictions, defendant is under a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. (§ 290 [hereafter, 290 registration].)

Between 2006, when defendant was released from prison on parole and notified of his registration requirement, and October 2009 defendant complied with his 290 registration requirement by either registering or updating his registration seven times. He last updated his registration on October 7, 2008, when he listed his address on King Road in Loomis.

Sometime before 2009 defendant absconded from parole, then returned to his home. On October 27, 2009, officers arrived at defendant's home on King Road and arrested him there on the outstanding parole hold. Defendant told officers he knew he was supposed to register within five days of his birthday on the preceding October 1 and officers "would be coming to get him any day now," but he also knew that when he appeared to register, he would be arrested on the parole violation, and he "didn't want to get arrested until he had finished doing some roofing work for his landlord."

Charged with one count of failing to register as a sex offender, defendant pleaded no contest and admitted allegations he had suffered six strike convictions. The People indicated their intention to seek a 25-years-to-life term, and defendant filed a Romero motion inviting the court to strike all (or, alternatively, all but one) of his prior strikes. The People opposed the motion in its entirety.

After a hearing and argument, the trial court granted defendant's Romero motion and exercised its discretion to strike five of the six prior strikes, leaving one of the forcible oral copulation strikes. The court's stated reasons for exercising its discretion to strike (ยง 1385) were that (1) the current offense did not involve any violence or threat of violence; (2) defendant had no prior 290 registration offenses and had dutifully registered multiple times; (3) the seriousness of the current offense was "relatively minor," in light of the fact that defendant was located at the same residence where he had previously registered; and (4) defendant's 1992 sex crimes strikes arose from a single evening of aberrant behavior. As to defendant's background, character, and prospects, the court found defendant was 53 years old, had served in the military, was honorably discharged, and had been a model prisoner, earning his GED and learning a trade while in prison. Defendant had been gainfully employed after his release from prison, until he was injured on the job. In light of the nature and ...

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