in the Court of Appeals 20 September 2017.
by petitioner from order entered 31 October 2016 by Judge
Carl R. Fox in Chatham County No. 04 CRS 5254-58; 50399
Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate
Defender James R. Grant, for petitioner-appellant.
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney
General William P. Hart, Jr. for the State.
Rayshon Bethea ("Petitioner") appeals from the
trial court's denial of his petition to be removed from
the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. We affirm the trial
September 2004, Petitioner pled guilty to six counts of
felony sexual activity with a student in violation of N.C.
Gen. Stat. § 14-27.7(b), upon which the court sentenced
Petitioner. This sexual activity with a student offense to
which Petitioner pled guilty is now codified under N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 14-27.32 (2015).
his convictions, Petitioner registered as a sex offender on
14 October 2004 under the North Carolina Sex Offender and
Public Protection Registration Program ("the Registry
Program"). See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208.7,
et. seq (2015) (establishing the North Carolina Sex
Offender and Public Protection Registration Program).
the version of the Registry Program in effect at the time of
his 2004 convictions, Petitioner's requirement to be
registered as a sex offender was to automatically terminate
after ten years had elapsed, if he did not commit any further
offenses requiring registration. N.C. Gen. Stat. §
amendments in 2006 to the Registry Program affected
Petitioner's registration status. First, section 14-208.7
was amended to provide that registration of convicted sex
offenders could continue beyond ten years, even when the
registrant had not re-offended. N.C. Gen. Stat. §
14-208.7(5a) (2007) (providing that the registration
requirement "shall be maintained for a period of at
least ten years following the date of initial county
the provision of section 14-208.7, which provided for
automatic termination of registration, was removed. Section
14-208.12A was added to the Registry Program. The current
version of section 14-208.12A provides that persons wishing
to terminate their registration requirement must petition the
superior court for relief.
(a) Ten years from the date of initial county registration, a
person required to register under this Part may petition the
superior court to terminate the 30-year registration
requirement if the person has not been convicted of a
subsequent offense requiring registration under this Article.
. . .
(a1) The court may grant the relief if:
(1) The petitioner demonstrates to the court that he or she
has not been arrested for any crime that would require
registration under this Article since completing the
(2) The requested relief complies with the provisions of the
federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and any other
federal standards applicable to the termination of a
registration requirement or required to be met as a condition
for the receipt of federal funds by the State, and
(3) The court is otherwise satisfied that the petitioner is
not a current or potential threat to public safety.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208.12A (2015), amended by
N.C. Sess. Laws 2017-158, § 22 (adding a provision to
section 14-208.12A(a) irrelevant to this appeal).
2006, Congress enacted the Adam Walsh Act, also known as the
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
("SORNA"). See 42 U.S.C. § 16901,
et seq. The Adam Walsh Act replaced the Jacob
Wetterling Act, the prior federal law addressing sex offender
registration. This Court has held "[t]he Adam Walsh Act
now provides the 'federal standards applicable to the
termination of a registration requirement [under N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 14-208.12A(a1)(2)]' and covers substantially
the same subject matter as the Jacob Wetterling Act."
In re Hamilton, 220 N.C.App. 350, 356, 725 S.E.2d
393, 398 (2012).
establishes rules governing sex offender registration and
conditions state receipt of certain federal funds on a
state's implementation of those rules. See 42
U.S.C. §§ 16915, 16925. ...