Richard Lee, who completed his prison sentence last year, must remain registered as a sex offender and continue on supervised parole
Attorney General John Kroger today announced the decision of a federal appeals court to reinstate the sodomy and sexual abuse convictions of Richard Lee, a Linn County man who was released from prison last year after completing a 14-year sentence.
“I am glad that justice prevailed and that Lee will be forced to register as a sex offender and be under close supervision,” said Attorney General Kroger.
Lee was convicted in Albany in 1995 of molesting a 4-year-old boy. Shortly before Lee’s scheduled release from prison in March 2009, a federal judge overturned his conviction, ruling that Lee had offered new evidence of his innocence and that his attorney had not represented him properly. The court found other flaws in the trial as well.
Under the terms of his release from prison, Lee was required to register as a sex offender, avoid all contact with children, wear a GPS monitor and check in weekly with his parole officer.
The decision to overturn his conviction eliminated those conditions, but Attorney General Kroger appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court’s ruling and reinstated the convictions. The court ruled that Lee’s claims were time barred, and that the evidence of innocence was not new because it was considered and rejected by the jury at trial. As a consequence, Lee remains convicted as a sex offender and his victim will not have to face his abuser in court again.
Assistant Attorneys General Janet Klapstein, Carolyn Alexander and Erin Lagesen handled the appeal for the Oregon Department of Justice. Assistant Attorneys General Jackie Kamins, Summer Gleason, and Andrew Hallman handled the case at trial.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org