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Brian Kayer

Other Sex Offender Registration Exonerations
In June 2011, police in Pontiac, Illinois began investigating the theft of two air-conditioners. They sought to question three people, including 34-year-old Brian Kayer, who was a registered sex offender based on a 2003 conviction for aggravated sexual abuse.

Police went to his address, but he was not there and they learned he was being evicted. They then went to his place of employment to try to find a more current address, and learned Kayer had been recently fired for absenteeism. The police finally located Kayer on July 7, 2011, when he was spotted walking on Howard Street in Pontiac.

Police questioned him about the air-conditioners. Kayer said that although he was desperate for money for food and housing, he was not involved in the theft of the air-conditioners and was unaware that two acquaintances had pawned them.

According to a police account of the interrogation, Kayer was then informed that he had violated a provision of the Illinois sex offender registration law that requires offenders to report a change in their place of employment within three days of any change.

Kayer said he had been terminated on June 28 after he went home due to heat exhaustion. “Kayer began to cry and said (he) had been very busy trying to find a new job and forgot to notify the Pontiac Police Department,” the report said. He said he had sought jobs at three different places, but so far had been unable to get work.

The officer said he pointed out that nine days had passed since Kayer had been fired, and that he could have stopped in or flagged down a passing police car for a ride to the station to report the change. “Kayer continued to cry (and) asked for a second chance,” the report said.

The officer then arrested Kayer. A month later, in September 2011, Kayer pled guilty in Livingston County Circuit Court to unlawful failure to register employment change as a sex offender. In October 2011, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

On May 6, 2013, however, the Illinois Appellate Court set aside his conviction and ordered the case dismissed. The court held that the statute required notification when there was a change in the “place” of employment, and that the prosecution had not charged him with failing report a change in his place of employment.

Kayer’s termination “equates to a change in employment status, but it does not equate to a change in the place of employment,” the court ruled.

“To illustrate by way of example, someone who has removed his clothes would not say, ‘I changed my clothes.’ Nor would someone evicted from his home say, ‘I changed homes,’” the court noted. “Someone who has recently become unemployed would not say, ‘I changed my place of employment.’”

On May 29, 2013, Kayer was released from prison.

The prosecution petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for permission to appeal the ruling, but in September 2013, the petition was denied. The charge against Kayer was then dismissed.

On June 15, 2015, Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Hartman-Bauknecht granted Kayer a certificate of innocence. Kayer subsequently filed a petition seeking compensation from the Illinois Court of Claims. The claim was granted and he was awarded $5,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 10/15/2017
Most Serious Crime:Sex Offender Registration
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2011
Sentence:3 years
Age at the date of reported crime:34
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No