U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Court Affirms Conditions for Sex Offender

A federal appeals court affirmed probation conditions for a sex offender, including a requirement of supervised visitation with his one-year-old child, based upon his conviction of having sex with a teenager.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal said the conditions were reasonable, given the offender's history of inappropriate contact with minors. Jason Brandon Schultz had been convicted of sex assault for his consensual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 23 years old. He later repeatedly violated conditions of probation.

"In light of this history and the district court's recognition of the need for Schultz to maintain a relationship with his children, the district court made individualized findings and the restriction is narrowly tailored to address the circumstances of Schultz's criminal history as well as his family situation," the judges said.

Probation Violations

After his conviction in 2007, Schultz violated probation by failing to register as a sex offender in 2008. He was sentenced to prison for 30 months and then placed on supervised release in 2011.

In 2012, the court revoked his release because he had violated conditions, including the abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs. He was sentenced to prison for 21 months, followed by three more years of supervised release.

During his second release, Schultz violated two more times -- one time included having contact with underage children and a second time for using illegal drugs. In 2015, he was sentenced to 22 months with another year of supervised release.

Too Many Conditions?

Schultz challenged the conditions of his last release, which included prohibitions against possessing pornography and having contact with children under age 18. He said he wanted regular contact with his infant child, but the court said any visits would have be supervised through probation.

Schultz appealed the conditions, and the appellate court affirmed. The panel said the trial judge had broad discretion to impose the conditions.

"Looking at Schultz's personal history, he was originally convicted in state court of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 23 years of age," the court said.

Under the circumstances, the unanimous panel said, the probation conditions were reasonable.

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