OF JUDGMENT: 11/03/2016
COUNTY YOUTH COURT, TRIAL JUDGE: HON. MICHAEL W. McPHAIL
COURT ATTORNEYS: HERBERT H. KLEIN, III PAMELA LUCKIE CASTLE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: HERBERT H. KLEIN, III
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: PAMELA LUCKIE CASTLE
L.B.C. appeals the Forrest County Youth Court's
requirement that he register as a sex offender. All of the
issues in this appeal arise from this requirement. After
review, we affirm the youth court's judgment.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In December 2015, L.B.C. sexually battered two six-year-old
girls. L.B.C. admitted to sexually penetrating the two
victims with his fingers. At the time, L.B.C. was fourteen
Initially, L.B.C. was charged as an adult in the Forrest
County Circuit Court with two counts of sexual battery under
Mississippi Code Section 97-3-95(1)(d) (Rev. 2014). On the
State's motion, the circuit court transferred the case to
the Forrest County Youth Court. In the motion to transfer,
the State cited the estimate of a neuropsychologist that
L.B.C. functioned closer to the age of a nine-year-old than a
Once in youth court, L.B.C. objected by motion to the
requirement that he register as a sex offender. At his
hearing, L.B.C. admitted to both counts of sexual battery.
The youth court accepted L.B.C.'s admissions and
adjudicated him delinquent under both counts. ¶5. After
hearing argument on L.B.C.'s earlier objection to
registration, the youth court entered a disposition order
that required L.B.C. to register as a sex offender under
Mississippi Code Section 45-33-25 (Rev. 2015). The youth
court also ordered L.B.C. into the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Child Protection Services and placed a number
of other restrictions on him.
Each of the four issues appealed by L.B.C. arise from the
requirement that he register as a sex offender. First, L.B.C.
argues that his delinquency adjudication of sexual battery
did not involve the use of force and is not an offense that
requires him to register as a sex offender. Second, he argues
that requiring registration without an individual
determination that he is a threat to the public violates his
constitutional rights. Third, L.B.C. maintains that he should
not be required to register as a sex offender since he has a
mental age of nine and had been fourteen years old for only
three months at the time of the incidents. Fourth, he claims
that requiring him to register as a sex offender violates the
confidentiality requirements of youth-court proceedings. We
address each of the four issues raised by L.B.C. in turn.
Finding no error, we affirm the disposition of the youth
"The appellate standard of review for youth court
proceedings is the same as that which we apply to appeals
from chancery court." In re J.P., 151 So.3d
204, 208 (Miss. 2014) (citing A.B. v. Lauderdale County
Dep't of Human Servs., 13 So.3d 1263, 1266-67 (Miss.
2009)). This Court reviews questions of law de novo.
Whether a delinquency adjudication for sexual battery
under Mississippi Code Section 97-3-95(1)(d) involves the use
of force, mandating registration as a sex offender.
The issue here is whether or not L.B.C.'s adjudication of
delinquency for sexual battery requires a demonstration of
the use of force in order to require him to register as a sex
offender. This issue of law is one of first impression for
We have held that force is not an element of the crime of
sexual battery in all cases. See Burgess v. State,
178 So.3d 1266, 1274 (Miss. 2015) ("[F]orce is not an
element of sexual battery."). Thus, force is not used
against sexual-battery victims in every instance. Here,
though, force is presumed, given the victims' ages.
Therefore, as discussed below, an additional showing of force
is not necessary to require L.B.C. to register as a sex
offender under the facts of this case.
Mississippi Code Section 45-33-25 governs mandatory
registration for delinquents. Section 45-33-25(1)(a) requires
a person to be fourteen years or older at the time of the
offense to qualify for mandatory registration. Miss. Code
Ann. § ...