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In re Welfare of A. J. B.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

September 9, 2013

In the Matter of the Welfare of: A. J. B., Child

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Scott County District Court File No. 70-JV-12-13167

David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Susan Andrews, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Patrick J. Ciliberto, Scott County Attorney, Todd P. Zettler, Assistant County Attorney, Shakopee, Minnesota (for respondent)

Considered and decided by Johnson, Chief Judge; Ross, Judge; and Bjorkman, Judge.

JOHNSON, Chief Judge

A.J.B. pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The district court adjudicated him delinquent. On appeal, he argues that the district court erred by denying his request for a stay of adjudication. We affirm.

FACTS

This appeal arises from an incident that occurred on April 18, 2012, after school, while A.J.B. and two other children were walking home from a bus stop in Prior Lake. A.A.W., a teenage girl, was carrying a backpack. A.J.B. grabbed the backpack and told A.A.W. that he would give it back only if she flashed other boys. A.J.B. then put her in a headlock and dragged her to the townhouse where he lives. When A.A.W. attempted to retrieve her backpack, A.J.B. told her that she could get it back only if she kissed P.W.D., a teenage boy. She refused and wanted to leave, but A.J.B. still had her backpack. A.J.B. backed A.A.W. against the wall and reached down the front of her shirt. A.A.W. tried to stop him, but he forced her to her knees. A.A.W. fell on her back. P.W.D. sat on her stomach, holding her down, as A.J.B. pulled down her bra and touched her breast. The boys allowed her to stand but continued to keep her backpack. A.J.B. asked A.A.W. to kiss him and asked P.W.D. if he was going to "bang her." As A.A.W. began to leave, A.J.B. reached inside her shirt again and grabbed her breast.

In June 2012, the state charged A.J.B. with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.345, subd. 1(c) (2010). In November 2012, A.J.B. pleaded guilty. During a disposition hearing in January 2013, A.J.B. requested a stay of adjudication. The district court denied the request and adjudicated A.J.B. delinquent. The district court ordered A.J.B. to complete treatment and therapy as recommended in a psychosexual evaluation and also ordered him to register as a predatory offender. A.J.B. appeals.

DECISION

A.J.B. argues that the district court erred by denying his request for a stay of adjudication.

The issue raised by A.J.B.'s appeal is governed by both a statute and a rule of juvenile delinquency procedure. The legislature has provided that, if a district court finds a child to be delinquent, the district court ordinarily should make a disposition that is "deemed necessary to the rehabilitation of the child." Minn. Stat. § 260B.198, subd. 1 (2010). But a district court has the alternative of continuing the case for a limited period of time, which is effectively a stay of adjudication. A district court may do so "when it is in the best interests of the child and when the child has admitted the allegations contained in the petition." Minn. Stat. § 260B.198, subd. 7 (2010). In that situation, "the court may continue the case for a period not to exceed 90 days, " and the continuance "may be extended for one additional successive period not to exceed 90 days and only after the court has reviewed the case and entered its order for an additional continuance without a finding of delinquency." Id.

The applicable rule of court provides that, if charges have been proved or admitted, a district court "shall either . . . adjudicate the child delinquent [or] continue the case without adjudicating the child delinquent." Minn. R. Juv. Delinq. P. 15.05, subd. 1. "The adjudication or continuance without adjudication shall occur at the same time and in the same court order as the disposition." Id. The district court "may continue the case without adjudicating the child" if "it ...


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