WI Court of Supreme Court
Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Corey T. Rector
Case No.: 2020AP001213-CR
Officials: Jill J. Karofsky, J.
Focus: Interpretation of “separate occasions”
The State filed a criminal complaint charging Rector with ten counts of possession of child pornography in violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.12(1m) after seizing over 1,000 offending images and videos in Rector’s possession. During a single hearing, Rector pled guilty to five out of ten counts of possession of child pornography. The circuit court sentenced Rector to eight years initial confinement and ten years of extended supervision on each of the five counts to be served concurrently and ordered Rector to comply with sex offender registration requirements for fifteen years. The court found Rector ineligible to participate in the ERP, in relevant part because the offense was not a “substance abuse crime.”
This case determines whether Corey Rector must comply with sex offender registration requirements for life under Wis. Stat. § 301.45(5)(b)1. (202122). Wisconsin’s sex offender registration statute requires lifetime registration when a “person has, on 2 or more separate occasions, been convicted . . . for a sex offense.” Wis. Stat. § 301.45(5)(b)1. The supreme court must interpret the phrase “separate occasions,” and determines that, in the context of this statute, the plain and ordinary meaning of “separate occasions” does not refer solely to the number of convictions. Consequently, the circuit court did not err by ordering Rector to register as a sex offender for fifteen years rather than until his death because his five convictions for possession of child pornography were filed in a single case and occurred during the same hearing. The circuit court did not err in finding Rector ineligible to participate in the Earned Release Program (ERP).