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United States v. Nasci

June 26, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JAMES J. NASCI, DEFENDANT



MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant James J. Nasci ("defendant") is charged with one count of traveling in interstate commerce and thereafter knowingly failing to register and update his sex offender registration in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a).

Defendant moves to dismiss the Indictment. The United States of America ("Government") opposes and moves for reciprocal discovery. Both parties' motions were taken on submit without oral argument.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Facts

The factual circumstances leading up to defendant's Indictment, in large part, parallel the facts recently presented before the undersigned in United States v. Hall, 577 F. Supp. 2d 610 (N.D.N.Y. 2008), appeal docketed, No. 08-6004 (2d Cir. Jan. 7, 2009) and United States v. Guzman, 582 F. Supp. 2d 305 (N.D.N.Y. 2008), appeal docketed, No. 08-5561 (2d Cir. Nov. 21, 2008).

In 1998, defendant was convicted of a state sex offense in Florida requiring him to register as a sex offender with the state's sex offender registry. In subsequent years, defendant completed additional sex offender registrations while living in Florida and later moving to New York. However, annual residence verification forms sent to defendant's last registered address in New York in November of 2007 and again in 2008 were returned to the New York Department of Criminal Justice Services by the United States Postal Service as non-forwardable. Through an independent investigation, state law enforcement learned that defendant was living in Greenfield, Indiana. The United States Marshals Service arrested defendant on November 18, 2008, at a residence in Greenfield, Indiana.

Residents at the Indiana address confirmed that defendant was living there in July, September, October, and November of 2008. Defendant was thereafter charged with failing to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA") after traveling in interstate commerce from July of 2008 through November 2008 in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a).

B. The Federal Duty to Register as a Sex Offender

SORNA provides: "A sex offender shall register, and keep the registration current, in each jurisdiction where the offender resides, where the offender is an employee, and where the offender is a student." 42 U.S.C. § 16913(a). A "sex offender" is defined as any individual who is convicted of a sex offense under either state or federal law. 42 U.S.C. § 16911(1). Following a change of a sex offender's name, residence, employment, or student status, SORNA requires that a sex offender notify the state in which he lives of such change(s). 42 U.S.C. § 16913(c).

C. The Federal Criminal Penalty for Failure to Register

While § 16913 creates an obligation under federal law to register with state sex offender registries and continually update one's registration, 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) serves as the enforcement mechanism for a sex offender's duty to register. Pursuant to § 2250(a), any sex offender who is required to register under SORNA and either was convicted of a federal sex offense or was convicted of a state sex offense and traveled in interstate commerce faces up to ten years in prison for knowingly failing to register or update his registration.

III. DISCUSSION

Defendant acknowledges in his memorandum of law that the constitutional issues raised in support of his motion are identical to the issues presented in Hall and Guzman. See Def's. Mem. of Law, Dkt. No. 9-2, 1, n.1. In particular, defendant argues the duty to update one's sex offender registration pursuant to SORNA ...


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