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People v. Christman

California Court of Appeals, First District, Fourth Division

September 10, 2014

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
CHARLES LEROY CHRISTMAN, Defendant and Respondent.

San Francisco City & County Super. Ct. No. 103687. Trial Judge Hon. Garrett L. Wong.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

Mark A. Peterson, District Attorney, and Derek Butts, Deputy District Attorney, for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Jonathan Soglin and Richard Such, under appointments by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Respondent.

OPINION

RUVOLO, P. J.

I. Introduction

The Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA) (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6600 et seq.)[1] provides that, under certain circumstances, a person who has been committed as a sexually violent predator (SVP) may thereafter be conditionally released into the community under a program of outpatient supervision and treatment. (See §§ 6608–6609.3.) The SVPA also provides that certain conditionally released SVPs who have a history of sexual misconduct with children “shall not be placed within one-quarter mile” of a school providing instruction to children from kindergarten to grade 12.

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(§ 6608.5, subd. (f).)[2] However, the statute does not specify the method a court should use to measure the distance between the SVP’s placement, or residence, and the school.

In the sole assignment of error, Contra Costa County asserts the trial court incorrectly used the “closest practical walking distance” instead of using a straight line to measure the distance between the residence of Charles Leroy Christman (Christman), an adjudicated SVP who falls within the provisions of section 6608.5, subdivision (f), and a nearby elementary school. Computing the distance between Christman’s residence and the school using a pedestrian-route method resulted in the location of Christman’s residence being compliant with section 6608.5, subdivision (f), and the trial court approving his residential placement over Contra Costa County’s objection.

We hold, as a matter of first impression, that in determining compliance with the residency restriction contained in section 6608.5, subdivision (f), the distance between Christman’s residence and the elementary school should have been calculated using the straight-line method rather than a pedestrian-route method. Consequently, we reverse, because calculations using the straight-line ...


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